Putting a Spotlight on Menopause
17th October 2022
This World Menopause Day, Executive Director of People Andrea Singh reflects on the launch of Peppy, an app to help those struggling with menopause symptoms. This is the latest addition to the support we offer our people at BAM.
At BAM we pride ourselves on supporting our people’s health and wellbeing. Over the years we’ve implemented helplines, a virtual GP service, flexible working and made a wide range of medical support available to our colleagues to name just a few. Looking after the health and wellbeing of our people benefits them personally and also supports us as a business. But there’s always more we can do and we are constantly striving to ensure our people are firmly at our core and are supported in the best way possible. So most recently, we’ve put a focus on supporting women as they experience symptoms of the menopause – ensuring support is available for our employees through every stage of life.
This World Menopause Day we’re delighted to announce that we’ve teamed up with Peppy, a health app which gives our people access to tailored, specialist help around the menopause from their phone. A subject often stigmatised, the effects of menopause can have a detrimental impact on women both in their personal and work life. This is a significant issue which I feel strongly needs to be addressed, especially as we see the demographic of our workforce changing.
Menopause affects all women differently, with symptoms including hot flushes, hair thinning, mood swings, brain fog and headaches to name just a few. Menopause can also cause anxiety, not only as a standalone symptom but because of the highly personal symptoms which can cause stress when they are experienced It is also important to recognise that while women on average experience the menopause in their 50s, many go through menopause much younger and begin symptoms during the perimenopause.
During menopause 3 in 4 women will experience symptoms and 1 in 4 of them will have severe symptoms. This can be really debilitating for women and understandably, in some cases can lead to a detrimental effect on performance. As a result of this it is not uncommon for women to lose confidence and consider their future in employment. 1 in 4 women consider leaving their jobs and 1 in 10 actually do leave due to menopausal symptoms. This is something I want us to help change by ensuring our colleagues are supported in the best way possible through this stage of their life.
Yet, because of historic stigma or perhaps embarrassment, menopausal employees can find it difficult to be open with their manager about their menopause experience. They might not feel able or comfortable discussing the situation with their manager or with a colleague in HR to get support when its needed. A problem only amplified, as we know can happen, when working in an industry which is historically male dominant.
Peppy, along with continued management training, goes some way to remedy that. The app offers one-to-one video calls with experts, alongside articles, videos and events. Our aim in providing this solution is to support our women to continue to achieve their fantastic potential at a time when often they have vast amounts of experience to offer. Of course, this goes hand in hand with ensuring everyone in our business, including men, knows about and understands menopause – so they can better support their colleagues at work and family members and friends at home.
We have already taken steps to make site facilities more female-friendly, and we continue to support colleagues through pregnancy, maternity and other types of family leave as well as embracing flexible working for everyone in our business. So for us one of the missing pieces was recognising that we could do more to support colleagues through menopause. We value women at every stage of their life, and career and this is just the latest step in ensuring what we offer our employees reflects our commitment to putting people at our core and supporting our colleagues to be their best at every stage of their life. The feedback we have received from our colleagues following the launch of Peppy has been overwhelmingly positive and I am proud that we are able to support our colleagues in this way.