Creating a menopause friendly workplace, GRAHAM has demonstrated its commitment to supporting its female colleagues by investing in practical solutions, policies and resources to ease the transition and normalise conversations about the menopause.
As part of a wider wellbeing programme, GRAHAM recognises the challenges women face working in the construction industry and knew it needed to put in place additional measures to support and retain its existing staff, and attract new talent to the company. Its vision is to create an inclusive workplace where women feel respected and empowered to thrive throughout all stages of life.
Women-focused Workplace Initiatives
Researching and benchmarking best practice, the company identified the types of support it could offer. Working in collaboration with its HR, EDI and FIR teams as well as its Women in Civil Engineering network, a number of employee-focused initiatives were launched including: enhanced maternity leave pay; paid leave for staff undergoing fertility treatment; trialling flexible working policies; and the provision of free sustainable period care products in all bathroom facilities across its sites and offices. Tackling the lack of menopause awareness and support was high on the list of priorities, so a specific plan was designed to ensure women don’t have to suffer in silence.
Menopause Support Programme
A natural part of the female aging process, the menopause isn’t always an easy transition and can cause a range of debilitating symptoms that can impact women at home, and in the workplace. CIPD studies show: 63% of females felt symptoms have significant negative effects on their work, impacting engagement and productivity levels; 30% took sick leave due to menopause symptoms (but many are not comfortable sharing details with their manager); and 1:10 menopausal women consider leaving their work due to symptoms. Without the necessary support, the business would potentially risk losing talent and expertise through attrition, absenteeism and presenteeism for symptoms that could be managed.
Committing to the nationally recognised ‘Menopause Workplace Pledge’, GRAHAM’s menopause support programme includes:
- Creating a new menopause policy including manager support guides.
- Appointing and training menopause advocates across the business.
- Launching menopause workshops, external webinars and a ‘Menopause and Me’ podcast
- Creating new resources accessed and promoted on the company’s intranet page and external WellHub.
- Providing access to the award winning Balance+ app, with personalised support and symptoms tracker.
Delivering an outstanding programme of support, GRAHAM have worked hard to start a difficult conversation about the menopause. Its initiatives have generated excellent feedback and will no doubt have a lasting impact on the women in its organisation, helping them feel understood, respected and less isolated. The campaign has also transcended both age and gender by attracting interest from male colleagues and younger females, equipping them with the tools to support their co-workers and family members being impacted with menopause symptoms.