Taking place throughout October, World Menopause Awareness is an initiative instigated by the International Menopause Society (IMS). It included a World Menopause Awareness Day on 18 October. Its theme was cardiovascular disease (CVD), a leading cause of death for women across the developed and developing world. The IMS has published a whitepaper on the subject, highlighting the risk of CVD as women age.
As part of its mental health training programme, BriggsAmasco held an online seminar for managers and colleagues that focused on recognising menopausal symptoms, available treatment and advice for managing symptoms, and how to support employees and loved ones suffering from the condition. The 30-minute course was sourced by BriggsAmasco’s HR & Training Department following a company Mental Health First Aid course.
Rebecca Lawther, BriggsAmasco’s HR and Training manager, said: “On the back of our mental health training, it was highlighted to our area safety advisors that in such a male- dominant sector, more needed to be done to highlight menopause-associated health issues. We thus asked all our female staff and department managers to undertake a menopause awareness course to help them better understand the symptoms and effects it has on individual women. The course was also held to outline how as a company, we can give staff struggling with the menopause assistance and support, should they ask for it.”
BriggsAmasco said: “In a report published by perimenopause and menopause experts ‘Health and Her’, menopausal symptoms have been attributed to 14 million working days being lost in the UK. Moreover, 60% of women claim the menopause has had a negative impact on their work, whilst 40% of women admit they would consider leaving their job because of the condition.
Although a male-dominant industry, the number of women employed within the building sector is increasing. Figures from www.statista.com show females account for 18% (340,000 employees) of the UK’s professional construction workforce. Therefore, menopause symptoms, which range from hot flushes to mood swings, could progressively impact the building sector. Proof of the effect it can have is borne out by a survey conducted by the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development. The 2019 report revealed that three in five menopausal women were negatively affected at work.
Rebecca Lawther said such statistics outlined the need for more workplace understanding and support to bolster staff wellbeing. She added: “Following the success of the online course, we’ve created a specific Menopause and Perimenopause policy, which advises employees of the support system in place. In addition, we’re recording perimenopause and menopause-related absences separately. This will give us better insight into how much of an issue the condition is for our employees. We’re also hoping to introduce a staff menopause risk assessment. Furthermore, we’re looking to appoint a HR Menopause Champion, providing employees with a known and trusted point-of-contact to confide in and discuss any problems they may have.”
For more information on World Menopause Awareness Month and how to download the cardiovascular disease whitepaper, visit: https://championhealth.co.uk/insights/menopause-awareness-month.