17 February 2022
Our Ref: P4/22
To: All Branches
Royal Mail Group – ‘Let’s Talk Menopause’ Campaign – Launch of Enhanced Menopause Support Package For Women – Today 17 February 2022
Royal Mail Group currently has around 16,500 women employees who are likely to be experiencing menopausal and perimenopausal symptoms – so as one of the UK’s largest employers – it matters to them! Following discussions with the Royal Mail Group’s Head of Health and Wellbeing, we very much welcome and support the commitment of the business, through the new ‘Let’s Talk Menopause’ campaign, to significantly enhance the support afforded to women employees experiencing and indeed suffering menopausal symptoms.
Royal Mail stated in launching the new campaign that “Most women will come up against menopausal symptoms, but that’s not to assume every person’s experience will be the same. We want our people in Royal Mail Group to feel they can have the conversation and seek the support they need however the menopause is impacting them. We don’t want any woman in our business to feel that they’re unable to do their job or progress their career – we want everyone to feel at their very best.”
‘Wellbeing Of Women Workplace Pledge’ – Supporting Staff Through Menopause
Almost 900,000 women in the UK have quit their jobs due to the menopause. By signing up to the ‘Wellbeing For Women Menopause Workplace Pledge’ Royal Mail Group commits to making a difference and making the organisation a supportive and understanding place for employees going through the menopause. If people affected by menopause feel supported at work, it can help to increase staff retention, reduce recruitment costs, improve productivity, happiness and wellbeing, and ensure a more diverse workforce. In signing the Menopause Workplace Pledge, Royal Mail Group commits to:
Recognising that the menopause can be an issue in the workplace and women need support
Talking openly, positively and respectfully about the menopause
Actively supporting and informing employees affected by the menopause
Royal Mail Group (RMG) has signed the workplace pledge to strengthen the company’s commitment to a step change in menopause support.
Dedicated RMG Intranet ‘Workplace Group’
Through the RMG ‘Let’s Talk Menopause campaign’, RMG aim to get the conversation going, raise awareness, encourage shared experiences, normalise menopause conversations and make a difference. The new RMG ‘Let’s Talk Menopause’ – ‘Workplace Group’ is now available to enable anyone affected by menopause to network with each other. RMG will set out the enhanced support available and will be making it clearer for employees to know how to access it. Over the coming months, there will be information on the below;
New Enhanced RMG Menopause Support
‘Meno-Mates’ local volunteers – Will help to raise awareness, listen and signpost their colleagues to available support while normalising menopause conversations. Information will be made available on how people can become a volunteer
Menopause guidance – Which outlines the symptoms that some women suffer when going through the menopause, how these symptoms can affect them at work, and provide practical advice and guidance.
First Class Support Menopause Toolkit – Confidential and available 24/7 for employees seeking assistance, referrals, including direct access to counselling, support, managerial support, advice and guidance, conversations, articles, programmes, signposting, physical help, reasonable adjustments, modified duties, flexible working, quiet space etc., and a comprehensive new menopause toolkit.
Menopause awareness eLearning – Training for managers, ‘Meno-Mates’ and CWU Reps will be available from 21 March or earlier.
Other support available – Will be detailed – for example, RMG’s new partnership with the menopause organisation ‘GenM’ offering access to resources. Also ‘Henpicked’ and the ‘Daisy Network’. Details of these organisations below.
‘GenM’ say that we ‘need to talk’ more openly about menopause and need to stop teaching women to make do and mend in this period in their lives. ‘GenM’ have published a report – The ‘GenM’ Menopause Invisibility Report’ (copy attached) which revealed the distinct lack of education and support for people going through the menopause. ‘GenM’ called upon companies and employers to open up the conversation and help normalize menopause for future generations. Royal Mail Group has signed up to that agenda.
‘GenM’ is seeking to make menopause a more positive experience for everyone. According to ‘GenM’ women going through the menopause often feel “alone and invisible” due to a lack of knowledge, as well as the lack of choices offered to them by employers. According to ‘GenM’s’ Invisibility Report, which was published last year, 87% of menopausal people feel overlooked by society and by employers. 97% feel employers should cater more to the needs and wants of menopausal people; and 91% have never seen specific advertising or marketing for menopausal products.
There are 15.5 million perimenopausal and menopausal people throughout the UK, and it’s abundantly clear that they are underserved, and deserve much better state ‘GenM’.
‘GenM’ has previously worked hard to improve the treatment of menopausal people in the workplace through its ‘Choose to Challenge campaign’. ‘GenM’ say that menopause is not just a workplace issue, but a societal one.
‘GenM’ state that there are 48 symptoms of menopause, yet most women can only name between three and five. So if women don’t even know the symptoms of their own menopause, how can we expect men to? How can we expect employers and organisations to? They want ‘brands’ to create products that cater to them, and market those products accordingly so that women know what is available to them?
‘GenM’ want major brands to cater to their menopausal customers and to normalise the conversation around menopause, as well as create and market products that will cater to the needs of menopausal people. Major brands including M&S and Boots have already joined ‘GenM’ in co-signing an open letter to the industry asking major brands from all sectors to pledge to better understand the needs of those going through menopause, use their platforms to normalise the conversation around the topic, and review how their policies, products and services can improve the menopause experience.
‘GenM’ also wants companies to develop their internal teams so they can support their menopausal employees.
‘Henpicked’ is one of the UK’s largest, fastest-growing websites for women, here to give women a place to have their say, sparking discussion, promoting healthy debate and, aiming to bring about positive change. ‘Henpicked’ is a dynamic community of women who want to help one another with news and views on a number of subjects with women supporting women.
‘Henpicked’ has a special website section on ‘Menopause in the Workplace’ covering awareness, toolkits and training and their menopause in the workplace experts provide line manager and colleague training, videos, eLearning, policy and communications expertise.
‘Daisy Network’ Charity
Daisy Network is a charity dedicated to providing information and support to women diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Insufficiency, also known as Premature Menopause.
Conclusion – CWU
The CWU has wanted RMG to become more menopause friendly throughout the organisation and to raise awareness, develop workplace information, management training, education, policies and practices and through the new campaign and enhanced support we will continue discussing and monitoring it. Everyone knows someone who is experiencing menopause or someone who will eventually go through menopause and we want Reps to ensure those members access and use the information and support available to make a difference.
The menopause is a natural stage of life and it can be a difficult and stressful time for those experiencing symptoms which can be quite severe, affecting people both physically and mentally. Those going through the menopause shouldn’t just be expected to put up with it and deal with it whilst suffering in silence. Enhancing the support available, raising awareness and creating a positive and open environment for those affected is encouraging and can help prevent stress, anxiety and depression, loss of confidence and feeling like they need to take time off work and hide the reasons for it.
Normalising menopause conversations in the workplace, increasing awareness of the impact of menopause symptoms which can last a long time is therefore is an important, positive step forward. The CWU very much welcomes and supports the new campaign.
‘GenM’ – The Invisibility (Menopause) Report
Dave Joyce National Health, Safety & Environment Officer