Menopause at work: celebrating great success

We held 51 menopause at work training sessions during October – a poignant number as 51 is the average age for women to reach menopause.

Menopause at work - team Sainsbury'sWorld Menopause Day this year was the most exciting in its 10 year history. Organisations across the globe promoting ways for women to manage menopause and look to their long-term health. And it’s working…

There’s been nothing short of a seismic shift from where we were three years ago, when we couldn’t find an organisation with a menopause policy – let alone one raising awareness, training colleagues or putting the right support in place.

Here are some of the highlights from my last week … just a few:


Outstanding work from the team led by Jean Fleming, Tamsin McCarthy and Victoria Dennett, leading the way for tech companies to follow suit. Passionate advocates trained, policy launched, and getting everyone involved with superb engagement including videos and webinars. Amazing team to work with and in awe at what they’re achieving.

Boots UK

Thrilled to discover that Henpicked’s Deborah Garlick was one of the finalists in the Boots UK Wellness Warrior – Women of the year awards, out of 1200 candidates. Actually it’s our pleasure raising awareness and normalising menopause conversations at work or anywhere. We enjoyed chatting with so many people and then running a menopause session for Boots colleagues. And thank you Boots UK for the menopause videos you’ve created on YouTube.

Sainsbury’s Group

Wow, can’t say enough about the fabulous programme in place and how much everyone’s got behind menopause in the workplace. Led by superstar Sarah Beisly and the fabulous team of passionate menopause leads. From factsheets to eLearning, videos to Thursday’s YamJam – company-wide discussion with John Rogers, Sainsbury’s Argos CEO. With 195,000 employees that’s a lot of people talking about menopause, changing the way we all think about it.

First Direct and HSBC UK

What a day and what a team! Thank you to Anne Bell, Chris Maddren, Alison Shemwell, Debs Stephenson, Sue Costello and more. To celebrate World Menopause Day, they held a MenoHealth session and then a colleague session both linking to colleagues across the whole business. They’re ticking all the best practice boxes.

If that’s not enough, they’ve gone GLOBAL with a menopause factsheet, we’re in awe!


The first train operating company. What was so different? A week of menopause training to rooms full of mostly men. They want to know about menopause and the team were looking at what more they can do to keep the conversations going.

Seeing Channel 4 menopause policy going live too! The menopause session panel was chaired by C4 Health and Social Care Correspondent Victoria MacDonald, Dorothy Byrne (Head of News, C4), Kirsty Wark (BBC Newsnight), and Dr Shahzadi Harper with Sharon Vibert from Henpicked. Fabulous engagement and thank you for encouraging other employers to do the same.

Cultural and mindset shifts around menopause at work

The thing is, these organisations are changing the way colleagues think about menopause at work, but it doesn’t stop there. That mindset goes outside of work – how people support partners, family members and friends too. This knowledge is a life-skill and is where changing perception of menopause as a nation is happening.

You know we’re going to say that it’s time all employers did this. The ones we’ve worked with have NOT done this for the business case – as compelling as it is. They’ve done it for the wellbeing of their colleagues and because it’s the right thing to do. In our book, that makes them the sort of organisations we’d rather work with.

Menopause at work support is urgent and important

Yes, we’re over the moon with progress and the incredible work done by so many. We set a target to talk to 1,000 companies this year, and we’ve already achieved that. Sure we’ve still a long way to go but frankly we’re more in the mind to CELEBRATE what these leading organisations have done.

Thank you to all those who’ve taken the steps to do what’s right

Personally, we’re truly grateful to have worked with so many inspirational organisations – large and small, public and private sector – all getting behind this campaign. From HSBC UK to Baxi, Atos to Southeastern, Sainsbury’s to Northumbrian Water, NHS Trusts, many universities and local councils, all have benefitted dramatically from looking after the wellbeing of all their colleagues. Menopause at work support is key to that.

We’re very grateful to the organisations who’ve hosted our Menopause in the Workplace conferences too, helping us spread the word. This is where so many employers start their journey and there are two more opportunities this year to learn about what others have done, how they did it and the results they’ve seen.

I wonder what we’ll be saying this time next year?! Any thoughts?

It’s not just time for all employers to do this – it’s time to build on and accelerate the progress we’re already making.

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