Abbeyfield Society achieves menopause accreditation

Caroline Noakes MP

Abbeyfield Society has achieved accreditation as a menopause friendly employer after demonstrating awareness campaigns within the workplace.

The process involved a submission to an external assessment panel appointed by Henpicked, which champions accreditation through its Menopause in the Workplace campaign.

Panel member Suzanne Banks said the society, which provides housing and care homes for older people, ‘demonstrated excellent menopause awareness campaigns and involved everyone in the conversation, supported by excellent training and support.’

Abbeyfield set up a cross-functional menopause taskforce and put initiatives in place. These included creating a menopause policy and a dedicated section on the company intranet with resources to tap into. It also ran online quizzes in all staff meetings and conducted surveys with employees to gauge levels of awareness.

It also encouraged open conversations about menopause, hosting ‘sofa sessions’ where staff discuss the subject, either face-to-face or virtually.

‘We have worked hard to achieve this accreditation and are absolutely delighted with the accolade, but most importantly we are proud to be helping our staff through what can be a very difficult part of their lives. Supporting our female employees through the menopause is an integral part of our wellbeing strategy and we are passionate about continuing to ensure we are a menopause friendly employer,’ said Gail Manley, Abbeyfield HR director.

Upwards of 80% of its workforce are women and over 40% of its female employees are over the age of 50. Alongside this, some residents can be as young as 55.

Caroline Noakes MP, chair of the women and equalities select committee, said: ‘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.’