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Irwin Mitchell Provides Workshops For Employees To Better Support Menopausal Colleagues

Law Firm Launches Training As Part Of National Inclusion Week

20.09.2018

Kate Rawlings, Press Officer | 0114 274 4238

National law firm, Irwin Mitchell is to provide employees with training to better support menopausal colleagues, this National Inclusion Week (24-30 September).

The firm has enlisted help from the experts at Talking Menopause to provide a workshop aiming to better educate employees on menopause, raise awareness of the support available, and offer advice to line managers on how best to support team members experiencing adverse symptoms.

It is the latest in a string of initiatives the firm have put in place to become more inclusive following the launch of their mental health first aid and unconscious bias training, earlier this year. It also forms part of the firm’s efforts to help reduce their gender pay gap, with experts estimating that 10% of women actually stop work altogether because of their severe menopausal symptoms.

The firm’s employment law team is also offering advice to businesses on how best to support female colleagues going through the menopause. Click here to find out more.

Women now represent almost half of the UK workforce, with around 3.5 million of these aged over 50.

With around 25% of women suffering severe symptoms of the menopause, studies have shown that in some cases it can have a significant impact on individuals (and indirectly their colleagues), leading to lower job satisfaction, productivity and performance.

While symptoms of menopause vary based on the individual, research shows that around 50% of women find work challenging because of them, with difficulty concentrating, tiredness, poor memory, depression, low mood, reduced confidence, tiredness and particularly hot flushes, all cited as contributing factors.

The firm is urging both male and female colleagues to attend the training to help normalise the subject and encourage positive conversations to take place to ensure women can get the support they need at that stage of their lives and careers.

In addition some colleagues at Irwin Mitchell have shared their personal experiences on firm’s new dedicated menopause support and advice page of the intranet.

Expert Opinion
I’m proud that over the past year we’ve addressed many sensitive issues such as fertility, miscarriage, and mental health in the workplace. We hope that our latest work on the menopause further demonstrates our commitment to normalising the common issues colleagues face, which are often considered taboo or have negative stigmas attached, that prevent them from accessing the support they need to thrive.
Andrea Preston, HR Director

Co-Founder & Director of Talking Menopause, Sarah Davies, helped set up the consultancy after 15 years in senior international corporate roles at firms such as Fujitsu-ICL and Thomas Cook. Sarah became Business Manager to Dr Louise Newson since the launch of her Menopause Doctor service, which led her to set up her own business educating and supporting men and women across all levels on the impact of menopause at work.

She said: “It’s really great to see more and more businesses tackling the issue of menopause. Because it’s such a taboo subject, particularly in the workplace, many women don’t even recognise that it is the cause of their symptoms, so aren’t able to get the help they need.

“There are lots of things employers can do to help support menopausal women such as reasonable adjustments, flexible working and creating safe spaces for female colleagues to discuss the challenges they are facing because of their symptoms.”