Integrating A Menopause Policy Into Your DEI Strategy

28th Jun 2023

More and more companies are beginning to recognise the importance of creating an inclusive environment. While some progress has been made in addressing issues related to gender, race, and age, one key phase of life that often remains overlooked is the menopause. 

Some companies have now integrated menopause policies into their workplace strategies to address this. What does that look like, and how can you implement a menopause policy? 

What is a menopause policy?

A menopause policy has guidelines and support systems in place to address the unique needs and challenges faced by employees experiencing menopause. These policies recognise menopause as a natural phase in a person's life and seek to provide the resources, support, and accommodations for the well-being and productivity of employees during this transitional period. 

Menopause policies may include, flexible work arrangements, access to information and resources, supportive health benefits, and training programs to increase awareness and understanding.

The importance of menopause in DEI

While menopause is typically considered a personal and private experience, it deserves recognition and understanding within the workplace to create a genuinely inclusive environment. By integrating menopause into your DEI initiatives, companies can demonstrate a commitment to valuing, supporting, and acknowledging individuals during this physically, emotionally, and mentally challenging phase of life. Doing so allows employees to feel seen and appreciated during a period that can be exhausting on multiple levels.

Understanding menopause and the impact in the workplace 

Menopause is a natural and inevitable phase of life and can have a significant impact on individuals both personally and professionally. Some of the common challenges faced by those going through menopause include:

Physical symptoms

Symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue, joint pain, and changes in sleep patterns are common but can be disruptive and unpredictable, impacting the ability to focus and perform daily tasks.

Emotional and psychological changes

Fluctuating hormone levels during menopause can contribute to emotional and psychological changes. Mood swings, irritability, anxiety, and feelings of sadness or depression are often reported. These emotional challenges can affect interpersonal relationships and overall job satisfaction.

Cognitive functioning

Some individuals may experience cognitive changes during menopause, commonly referred to as ‘brain fog’. This includes difficulties with memory, concentration, and problem-solving impacting productivity and performance in the workplace.

Addressing the impact on productivity and retention

Ignoring or disregarding the impact of menopause on productivity and retention can have detrimental effects on both individuals and employers. To create a supportive and inclusive work environment, it is essential to address the specific needs of employees experiencing menopause. Here are some key considerations.

Offer flexible work arrangements

Offering flexible work arrangements, such as flexible schedules or remote work options, can provide individuals with the opportunity to manage their symptoms more effectively and work where they are most comfortable in order to maintain productivity.

Educate and raise awareness

Increasing awareness and understanding about menopause through workshops, training sessions, or informational resources can help create a more supportive workplace culture that is informed of the needs of others.

Provide well-being initiatives

Implementing initiatives such as counselling and mental health support can help employees manage the emotional and mental well-being requirements of individuals experiencing menopause. Platforms like Oliva offer specialised mental well-being assistance provided by trained professionals. These services are 100% confidential and tailored to each employee, ensuring that each person's unique needs are addressed and respected. 

Accommodate and integrate supportive policies

Create policies that allow for accommodations such as temperature control in workspaces, access to appropriate healthcare resources, and supportive leave policies. These can make a significant difference in alleviating the challenges associated with menopause.

Menopause policy template

Interested in integrating your own menopause policy into your workplace as part of your DEI initiatives? 

We've gathered examples from Flexified companies prioritising flexibility and inclusivity to address the needs of employees experiencing menopause. 

Disclaimer: Remember, each workplace is unique, and obtaining expert guidance is essential to create effective and compliant policies. We recommend consulting with relevant experts, such as legal professionals or human resources specialists, to review and validate any policies or initiatives you develop.

Catherine Roberts - People and Culture Advisor at hedgehog lab

"We are so proud to have such a diverse team here at hedgehog lab, and we understand that with diversity comes certain challenges as we all reach different stages of life. It was with this in mind that we wanted to create a menopause policy and make resources available to help and educate those going through these changes."

Rose Watkins-Jones - People Advisor at Impression 

"Our menopause and menstrual policy recognises the differences in lived experiences, offering flexible working options and a no-judgement policy to taking sick leave for symptoms related to periods or menopause. We recognise the fact that it can still be a hard topic to broach with managers, so we've committed to continued education and training on the subject. Having these policies in place makes sure that our employees who experience them know that their well-being is important to us and means that they can work flexibly to suit their symptoms."
Together, let's build workplaces that recognise and celebrate the full spectrum of human experiences, including the transformative phase of menopause.