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Amey and Mace Launch Health Platform for Menopause Support

Amey and Mace Launch Health Platform for Menopause Support
05 August 2021 | Updated 18 October 2021
 

In an industry first, Amey and Mace have launched a digital health platform to support people experiencing menopause and other major health journeys.

Amey and Mace are hoping to demonstrate that menopause is not just a personal issue, but a workplace issue, and to demonstrate their commitment to driving gender equality and diversity in the workplace.

The platform, called Peppy, connects users directly to specialist menopause experts, via one-to-one chat, group chat or video consultation, or through a library of free events, videos and articles. Users can discuss symptoms, treatment options and mental wellbeing, and receive unlimited support from real-life experts to choose the right options for their menopause transition.

The Peppy app not only offers employees support and guidance for menopause, but also support with fertility, pregnancy, early parenthood and miscarriage, which Mace will be rolling out at the same time as the menopause service. It is available to all employees, as well as their partners.

 

"As a woman who is experiencing menopause myself, I want to do everything I can to prevent Amey, and the industry, losing women at this later stage in their career when they have so much to offer."

–Amanda Fisher

CEO, Amey

 

1 in 10 Women Will Consider Leaving Employment Due to Menopause Symptoms

 

People of menopausal age are the fastest-growing demographic of the UK workforce, and yet one in ten will consider leaving employment due to their menopause symptoms. With specialist, accessible support in place, women can avoid having their careers derailed by complex changes in their health.

It's also imperative to note that menopause can also affect the transgender community. Trans men may still experience menopause, and trans women undertaking hormone therapy may also experience "pseudo" menopausal symptoms.

Facilities managers in particular can play a vital role in determining the health, wellbeing and engagement of their team, and in setting a positive example for the rest of the workforce.

 

What are the Symptoms of Menopause?

 

Menopause can cause a wide range of physical and psychological symptoms that can last for several years:

  • Psychological issues such as mood disturbances, anxiety and/or depression, memory loss, panic attacks, loss of confidence and reduced concentration
  • Hot flushes (brief and sudden surges of heat usually felt in the face, neck and chest)
  • Sleep disturbance that can make people feel tired and irritable 
  • Night sweats (hot flushes that happen during the night)
  • Irregular periods and/or periods can become light or heavy
  • Muscle and joint stiffness, aches and pains
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) including cystitis
  • Headaches
  • Palpitations (heartbeats that become more noticeable)
  • Skin changes (dryness, acne, general itchiness) 

 

Amey's CEO Shares Her Personal Experience

 

Amey Chief Executive, Amanda Fisher, is championing this shift in opinion by speaking openly and sharing her own experiences about menopause. She commented: “I want all women going through menopause to be able to reach their potential, and for menopause not to be a barrier for their ambitions. As a woman who is experiencing menopause myself, I want to do everything I can to prevent Amey, and the industry, losing women at this later stage in their career when they have so much to offer.

"This is about opening the conversation and encouraging other employers to take similar steps to become menopause friendly organisations. No one should be held back something they can’t control.”

Mandy Willis, Mace Group Board Director of Corporate Strategy, commented: “Partnering with Peppy and launching the app for our Mace colleagues, will help women across our organisation feel supported during menopause, empowering them throughout their careers; but particularly at that juncture when their experience is so valuable and their careers are all too often curtailed. With the help of Peppy, we aim to address the structural gender inequalities within the construction industry, and champion social mobility. We want to retain the fantastic talent that we have and at the same time, support the ambitions of our women such that there are no boundaries to their ambition. It is a great step in leading change across our sector and setting an example for other employers in different industries.”

Dr. Mridula Pore, Peppy Co-Founder and Co-CEO, said, ‘By giving their colleagues access to Peppy, Amey and Mace are not only creating a culture of belonging in their organisations, but are also setting an example for other organisations in the industry to follow. Peppy will help their employees – and their partners – make sense of challenging health journeys and bring their best selves to work every day. We’re proud to work with two organisations who are taking action to make their businesses more female-friendly.’

 

Addressing the Menopause in the Workplace

 

Often a few simple changes to the working environment can make a world of difference – even just talking about the menopause openly can reduce the impact of some symptoms and enable people to continue performing well in their roles.

CIPD research shows that almost a million women have left their job because of menopause symptoms. And others are forced to take long-term absence from work to manage symptoms, taking an average of 32 weeks’ leave throughout their career, resulting in a huge loss of productivity to a business.

Businesses should be able to recognise when support is needed and facilitate open conversations with employees about what they’re experiencing. Menopause shouldn’t be taboo, and everyone should feel confident to have a conversation with their line manager, especially when they need guidance and advice.

As well as creating an open culture, employers have a legal duty to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the workplace risks to the health and safety of their employees. This includes making adjustments for women who are experiencing menopausal symptoms and this will involve the facilities management team.

Risk assessments should consider the specific needs of menopausal women and ensure that the working environment will not make their symptoms worse. Often, making simple changes to the working environment can help to alleviate the impact of some symptoms, such as temperature and ventilation, the materials used in any uniform or corporate clothing and access to toilet facilities and access to cold water. 

Start by having a confidential, two-way conversation with the individual concerned, to identify the specific issues that person is experiencing. Consider involving relevant experts where appropriate, such as an occupational health practitioner, to help identify appropriate adjustments that could be put in place to help ease the impact of their symptoms on their work. Record any specific needs (and agreed adjustments) and review these at least annually.

  • Adjustments can be physical, such as providing a fan, but they can also involve changes such as offering a more flexible working arrangement if the person is suffering from sleep disruption
  • Allow for more frequent breaks to go to the toilet and make sanitary products available in washrooms.
  • Offer easy access to drinking water and allow someone to move around or stay mobile, if that helps
  • Signpost to an employee assistance programme or counselling services if available
  • Provide private areas for women to rest, recover or make a telephone call to access personal or professional support. 
  • Facilitate a comfortable working environment wherever possible – including adequate drinking water supplies, temperature-controlled areas, and access to toilets and showers or washing facilities. Remember that menopause symptoms can fluctuate, so take a flexible approach and check in regularly with the individual.

Picture: a photograph of two people working together at a laptop

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 05 August 2021

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