Heard about menopause champions and you’re not sure what a menopause champion is or what they do.
In this blog I’m going to be answering questions about menopause champions so you can have a better understanding of what they are, what they do and if a menopause champion is a good idea for your business or organisation.
Questions I’ll be answering are:
- What is a menopause champion for the workplace?
- What else can a menopause champion be known by?
- What does a menopause champion do?
- Who can be a menopause champion for the workplace?
- What characteristics would a good menopause champion have?
- Why have a menopause champion?
- Do you need a menopause champion for your organisation?
- Is a menopause champion all you need to create your menopause friendly workplace?
What is a menopause champion for the workplace?
A menopause champion is someone who can provide the right support at the right level to who may need it.
This could be for those going through menopause, approaching menopause or even for those worried or concerned about those that they know going through menopause.
What other names can a menopause champion be known by?
Some people call them Menopause Ambassadors or a Menopause Sponsor.
What can a menopause champion bring to the workplace?
Some ideas for what a menopause champion can do are:
- Help raise the profile of menopause
- Highlight what support your organisation offers
- Arrange workshops for colleagues and managers
- Create a support network
You might want to check out a video I did about Menopause Cafe which is a great way to start talking about menopause.
What else can a menopause champion do?
- They can signpost colleagues to where they can get personal support and advice about their menopause
- Be involved in meeting with senior management and discussing appropriate support to offer.
This could be following on from conversations they’ve had with colleagues about the type of support that would make their working environment more comfortable and have less of an impact on their menopause related symptoms.
- Be part of a working group on developing menopause documents and guidelines
For example when you’re creating your menopause policy including your menopause champion in the conversation could help you ensure you’re creating a policy that truly supports everyone in the workplace.
- They could be the contact for colleagues to discuss reasonable adjustments
- They can keep up-to-date with menopause issues
For example keeping up to date with the government’s menopause task force
- Share useful posters or newsletters with colleagues
A great resource is an organisation called Pausitivity.
Who can be a menopause champion for your workplace?
That’s up to your organisation but some key things to remember about your menopause champion are that their role is voluntary.
They don’t need to be from Human Resources (HR) or Occupational Health (OH) and they can be any gender.
What characteristics would a good menopause champion have?
- Ideally they’d be someone who is enthusiastic about helping others.
- They’re knowledgeable about menopause, the symptoms and they’re knowledgeable about menopause and the law.
- They’re at ease talking about menopause and they have a good understanding about the different support required.
- They’re discreet and they have empathy
- They’re good listeners
- And they also have knowledge of where they can signpost colleagues to useful information or other organisations that can help them.
Why have a menopause champion, for your workplace?
ACAS describes it well.
“Having a menopause or well-being champion at work could help people affected by menopause the champion could be a point of contact if staff need advice or someone to initially talk to if they’re not comfortable talking to their manager.”
Do you need a menopause champion for your organisation?
That’s up to your organisation.
You may want to consider your approach to the menopause so would taking a whole organisation approach work better or would one person leading the way work best?
As a menopause champion what do you need to create your menopause friendly workplace?
Our thoughts on this are a two-pronged approached.
Provide awareness training education and support for your manager’s and your colleagues so everyone in the workplace is aware.
Educate those who go through menopause. Help them to be aware and educated about it and how menopause may affect them, and what they can do as they transition through peri-menopause, menopause and post-menopause to be able to help and support themselves.
The workplace can also introduce signposting.
Signpost or refer your colleagues to people and organisations who can support them to help them recognise the changes as they approach and go through the menopause and the symptoms, and even advice on how to speak to their GP.
By talking about menopause and educating the workplace about what menopause is and what it isn’t helps to break down barriers.
Whether you decide a menopause champion is right for your organisation or not, the key is always about working together talking about menopause from the top of the organisation downwards, and from the bottom of the organisation upwards so it’s easier for everyone in the organisation to meet in the middle and remove the taboo around menopause.
Want to know more about menopause awareness for your workplace?
Here’s some further reading.