Long gone are the days when people didn’t talk about Menopause, with increasing awareness in the media, in society and in many workplaces. As a result of Unilever UK & Ireland’s training and awareness courses, as well as specialist health cover, the company has been recognised as the first FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) manufacturer to be recognised as a Menopause Friendly Employer, and independently accredited by Menopause Friendly.
This accreditation marks the progress Unilever UK & Ireland has made as an employer, moving from the pledge to be ‘menopause aware’, to having made tangible improvements around how menopause awareness, support and education is embedded in many areas of the business.
Becoming accredited by Menopause Friendly, comprising an independent panel of the UKs leading experts on menopause in the workplace, is a rigorous process which includes evidencing how menopause awareness is filtering through a company by its culture, guidance, menopause-specific support, training, engagement and menopause-appropriate facilities.
We’re delighted to see Unilever UK & Ireland achieve Menopause Friendly Accreditation. This was an excellent application; they set clear objectives to create a culture where menopause is easy to talk about and support is available to anyone who needs it. They’ve demonstrated excellent menopause awareness campaigns, training and support within their organisation, including excellent facilities for their colleagues. Well done to everyone involved.
Menopausal women are the fastest-growing demographic in the overall workplace, and almost eight out of 10 women will reach menopause while they are working. As a Menopause Friendly employer, Unilever wants everyone to be aware of the impact menopause can have; either as someone dealing with the symptoms of menopause (which national external research has seen up to one in four women leave work due to the severity of menopause symptoms), as a line manager supporting a colleague, or as child or partner of someone experiencing menopause at home.
As a global organisation, Unilever is working to create a fairer, more socially inclusive world through its business, its brands and in wider society. At Unilever in the UK, 57% of management roles are done by women, and the UK & Ireland leadership team is made up of 44% women. Unilever believes that creating a culture of awareness, openness and support about the menopause is key in order to support its workforce and wants everyone to feel confident and comfortable enough to have conversations about menopause and be able to access the right support at the right time.
This is a significant part of our commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. No one should ever be prevented from working because of a life stage and Unilever’s extensive menopause guidance, training, support, and flexible working policies acknowledge that menopause can affect us all. We want to ensure that we retain valued and experienced people in our business by supporting them to thrive in the workplace. “We know that opening up the conversation around menopause, whether as an employer, colleague or as someone experiencing menopause symptoms themselves, will have a positive impact now and for generations to come.
Kate Roberts, Employment Excellence Director at Unilever
To be truly menopause friendly, employers must put in place policies alongside training and awareness protocols for all colleagues, address both physical and mental wellbeing considerations and be prepared to make practical changes to the workplace environment. “I consider the Menopause Friendly Accreditation as a kitemark of excellence for menopause in the workplace. Employers who achieve this should display this badge with pride as it shows employees, stakeholders, customers, business associates and industry at large that they have gone above and beyond to change the lived experience of those working through menopause.
The Rt Hon Caroline Nokes MP and Chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee recently came out in support of those employers who make menopause a priority.
As part of the employee offering in the UK and Ireland, employees have access to menopause awareness and training courses as well as specialist health cover.