support for employers is here…
We’re taking the pause out of Menopause here at Successful Mums Career Academy! With funding and free training to help employers implement policies to support Women’s Wellbeing and the Menopause in the Workplace.
Susanna Lawson, CEO of the award winning Onefile and Jane Knight, founder of Successful Mums Career Academy have worked on several projects to support women into work. Both are working mums, business owners and ambassadors of flexible working.
Today, Susanna caught up with Jane to find out more about her latest project introducing Women’s Wellbeing and Menopause to their training and why employers are keen to embrace and learn more about this important topic too.
Jane, you are known for your niche training company helping mums back to work, it’s great that you’re able to introduce these important topics into your courses, why now?
In addition to the back to work, digital and business training we provide, we have always included extra topics, relevant to our mums. This has included mental health awareness, personal branding and styling sessions along with NLP techniques and engaging guest speakers – all of which add value to the Successful Mums experience.
In the last year we have been collecting data to determine the barriers, many of our mums, aged 40 plus are facing. Feedback showed these women want to know more about the peri menopause, the menopause, and the changes this brings to ‘midlife’. So, it made sense to introduce this into our training!
How are these topics incorporated into the courses?
Through expert guest speakers, TED talks, podcasts and we share several strategies to embrace midlife well-being and how this can be a positive chapter in your life. The feedback has been brilliant, just having a space to talk about the subject and share experiences and top tips is a fantastic step forward.
There are so many great podcasts available at the moment. My current favourite is the fun, professional and frank, Trish and Lorraine who have a weekly podcast called Postcards from Midlife, do tune in. They also have an interactive and non-judgmental Facebook group where women share their challenges and small wins too.
Check out Liz Earle, Gaby Logan, Meg Matthews and Emma Bardwell who are all ambassadors for mid-life and are vocal on their Instagram about women’s well-being and are regularly interviewed on this topic whilst sharing practical useful tips we can all benefit from.
“Menopause is not just a female issue; it is an organisational issue.”
Why are employers so keen to get invovled?
We have recently won funding from the London Mayor to work with several forward-thinking employers who want to have a more flexible workforce and recruit mums/parents in 2021.
This funding will provide advice and guidance for employers to create a welcoming workplace to attract skilled mums/parents in 2021. The advice includes a number of resources such as, flexible working policies, free advertising to this audience of mums plus the Women’s Wellbeing and Menopause Policy which employers are keen to introduce!
We’ve had an overwhelming response so far from the employers involved. Many have taken onboard our advice and introduced several simple strategies including the Wellbeing and Menopause Policy to their workforce. This includes Katy Moroney from the London based, Administration Hub.
“We were keen to attract a talent pool of skilled, midlife women for their wealth of work and life experience, many of which are parents. Jane and her team provided ideas, advice and resources so we could be more flexible as an organisation to attract this audience. Since working with Successful Mums, we’ve introduced a number of flexible changes including the Menopause Policy. This is a real step forward for our business and women in work.”
What is a menopause policy and what difference will it make?
Menopause is not just a female issue; it is an organisational issue. The policy outlines the commitment from the employer to provide the right support to manage menopausal symptoms at work.
It ensures everyone understands what the menopause is, educating and informing them of the potential symptoms.
Encouraging the employer to provide an environment in which employees feel comfortable to instigate conversations or engage in discussions about menopause, it ensures that women affected feel confident to discuss it and ask for support.
They should be comfortable asking for any reasonable adjustments to be made so they can continue to be successful in their job. Make allowances the same way you would for those with caring responsibilities or a long-term health condition.
Small changes can make a big difference. It could be something as simple as providing a room with air conditioning, having a fan on the desk, a supply of cold water and suitable material if a uniform is provided for work.
A survey by Forth found that 63% of menopausal women said their working life had been affected by their symptoms which can include feeling hot, some tiredness, anxiety and at times a loss of self-confidence. With a working policy in place and some small tweaks, symptoms can be relieved by supportive employers who will then go on to benefit from motived and retained staff.
Awareness is fundamental and reducing the stigma attached is too, this has an impact on so many.
· There are 3.5 million women over 50 in the workplace.
· In the UK, the average age for a woman to go through menopause is 51.
· Around one in 100 women experience menopause before age 40.
· Three out of four women experience symptoms, one in four could experience serious symptoms.
Let’s embrace this exciting chapter for women, with the right resources, strategies and support we can navigate the luxury of reaching and enjoying midlife!
If you’re a mum looking to find work, apply for one of our courses here.