WW has launched a range of new menopause measures and policies, for both its members and employees
Workplace attitudes towards women and the menopause urgently need to change. The number of women being unfairly dismissed because of their menopausal symptoms is on the rise, and a shocking 1 million employees are about to leave the workforce voluntarily as they struggle with their symptoms.
Now, WW (formerly Weight Watchers) has launched Menopause Matters: a raft of new policies and measures designed to help employees and members going through the menopause.
The new policies have been shaped by research undertaken by Censuswide on behalf of WW. The study surveyed 1,000 women who have been through or are going through the menopause. Almost half of the women (47%) said they needed more help and support with the impact of the changes to their health and body.
When asked about the menopause, six out of ten women (61%) said there is a lack of understanding, 53% said there’s a lack of information and 55% said there is a lack of support.
Less than one in ten women (7%) talked to their employer or line manager about going through the menopause or perimenopause, and one in four women believe workplace policies and rights around this issue need to change.
WW Menopause Matters Employee Support
WW’s new measures could impact the majority of its UK employees, with 87% female and 61% of these aged between 41 and 65. WW UK’s Menopause Matters policies include:
- Up to 26 weeks’ paid leave and flexible working options if permanent employees need to take time off due to menopause-related symptoms
- New training for WW Managers, Coaches and Mental Health First Aiders to make sure they have the knowledge and skill to support those experiencing menopausal symptoms
- Safe spaces and equipment for employees who may be experiencing menopausal symptoms while at work, like desk fans and a calm cool reflection room
WW Member support
Weight gain is one of the most prevalent symptoms of menopause and perimenopause and so WW is hoping it can be a source of support to its members during this phase in their lives. Menopause Matters will provide members with:
- An exclusive Menopause Matters Masterclass by specialist GP, Dr Suzanne Saideman
- Weekly content providing expert advice, nutritional support and physical workshops via WW’s in-app social platform Connect. The app’s menopause group also provides a forum for members to connect and share their challenges, advice and experiences
WW has also partnered with GenM, an organisation which encourages brands to recognise and respond to the needs of perimenopausal and menopausal women. “Menopause ignorance has gone on for too long and it’s our joint responsibility as brands and employers to wake up and unite in representing those in the menopause and their support network,” said Heather Jackson, Co-Founder of GenM.
Anna Hill, General Manager of WW UK, also commented:
“Conversations around the menopause are starting, but we urgently need to tackle the stigma around it. Our research has revealed that many women going through menopause want to be understood, not to suffer in silence and they’re asking for support with the physical and emotional symptoms they’re facing.”
Could these new policies make a big difference in your workplace? Can you imagine your company following in WW’s footsteps? As discussion about menopause continues to open up, let’s hope we see more calls for change.