PWC to teach its managers how to talk to staff about the menopause
‘Taboo-busting’ City giant PWC to teach its managers how to talk to staff about the menopause
- Accounting firm PwC will train managers on how to talk to staff on menopause
- It will be giving managers guidance on how to broach the subject with its staff
- PwC has also rolled out health insurance for women struggling with menopause
- The accounting company will be the first major City firm to address the issue
A City giant is to train managers on how to talk to their staff about the menopause.
Accounting titan PwC has also rolled out health insurance for women struggling with symptoms of the menopause and is ‘encouraging’ them to use its flexible working policy to stay at home if they prefer.
PwC, which has 22,000 staff in the UK of whom almost half are women, confirmed it will be providing guidance for line managers on how to broach the subject with anyone who wishes to discuss the menopause.
The company is the first major City firm to address the issue which usually affects women between the ages of 45 and 55 when their periods stop and their fertility falls away.
Many suffer sometimes debilitating symptoms including hot flushes, headaches, palpitations and joint stiffness.
PwC confirmed it will be providing guidance for line managers on how to broach the subject with anyone who wishes to discuss the menopause (stock image)
The company said it wanted to break the taboo around discussing the subject in the workplace and will urge colleagues who are not suffering from the menopause to become ‘allies’ to those that are.
It will also use meetings, seminars and online forums to educate younger staff about the menopause and how it might affect them, with full details announced for World Menopause Day on October 18.
Sarah Churchman, PwC’s UK head of diversity, inclusion and wellbeing, said: ‘We need to ensure women, before they hit the menopause or perimenopause, are aware of the symptoms.
Some existing employees say they were experiencing symptoms but they had no idea. They thought they were going mad, they just didn’t know.’
PwC said it was pursuing the initiatives to keep women in the workplace and to attract the best employees.
According to the Wellbeing of Women survey in 2016, a quarter of women have considered leaving their jobs because of the severity of menopausal symptoms.
Marissa Thomas, a member of PwC’s management board, said: ‘There’s a war for talent going on and, like most large professional services firms, we’re facing an increasing attrition rate.
‘We need more talented people and we want to continue to have a diverse workforce. If women think we’re a better place to work in terms of providing support, we must have a better chance of attracting and retaining top female talent.’
PwC has rolled out health insurance for women struggling with symptoms of the menopause and is ‘encouraging’ them to use its flexible working policy to stay at home (stock image)
PwC has changed its insurance arrangements so employees will be able to access cover for menopause, allowing women to see a specialist and to take an initial test to check if they have perimenopause – when the body is transitioning towards the condition – or menopause.
Ms Churchman said: ‘For individuals who have responsibility for supporting people there will be detailed guidance for them on how to have a conversation.
‘It’s literally building from ground zero: how do you have a conversation and constructive conversations if we want to talk about the menopause?
‘It’s a little bit like years ago when we were having conversations around mental health. How do you start the conversations, how do you signpost to those people where they go for support?’
Using its flexible working policy adopted during the pandemic, PwC will also encourage women struggling with the menopause to work from home if they wish.
But Ms Thomas said some women prefer being in an office environment.
‘One said how lonely she felt at home with the menopause during lockdown,’ she said.
‘If you’re having those dark moments where you’re by yourself, it’s really, really challenging, so I’m hoping with more of us back in the office, we see a benefit going the other way versus just leaning on working from home.’
Source: Read Full Article