The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has become the latest employer to sign the Menopause Workplace Pledge. The pledge, run by Wellbeing of Women, for which HRH The Countess of Wessex is Royal Patron, aims to redress the lack of awareness of and support for women in the workplace who are experiencing menopause.
Women make up nearly half of the UK workforce, but around 900,000 have left their jobs because of periods, fertility struggles, pregnancy or menopause.
FSB research (2022) found 64 per cent of small businesses employ at least one woman aged 50 or over. FSB hopes that more small businesses will sign the pledge to help retain this talent.
Julie Lilley, CEO of the Federation of Small Businesses said, “I’m pleased that we’ve signed the Pledge; women over 50 are the fastest growing section of the workforce and it’s important that women get the support they need.
“Employers and the economy are missing out on huge numbers of exceptionally talented women – and I want to do all I can to make sure that FSB isn’t going to miss out on that amazing pool of talent.
“As an SME, we’ve always sought to recruit and retain the best expert staff team to support our small business members and this is a further step in that.”
Janet Lindsay, CEO of Wellbeing of Women added, “It is great to see that the Federation of Small Businesses has signed the Menopause Workplace Pledge. Collectively, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the biggest employers in the UK, and I hope this will encourage other companies to support their workforce and sign our pledge. It will also make FSB a better place in which to work.”
The menopause is a natural part of ageing that usually occurs between 45 and 55 years of age, as a woman’s oestrogen levels decline. An estimated 13 million women in the UK are living with the menopause – six in ten of them say that their symptoms have had a negative impact on their work.
FSB hopes by signing the Pledge it may encourage its small business members to do the same. It is also part of FSB’s employee wellbeing focus to help recruit and retain the best talent.
By signing the Menopause in the Workplace Pledge, FSB has committed to supporting its staff through menopause by recognising that the menopause can be an issue in the workplace and women need support; talking openly, positively and respectfully about the menopause; actively supporting and informing its employees affected by the menopause.
Wellbeing of Women launched The Menopause Workplace Pledge in October 2021 and since then nearly 1,000 employers have signed up, covering millions of employees across the country.
FSB is also a member of the government’s 50PLUS Choices Employer Taskforce which makes recommendations on how the government, employers and society can enable fulfilling working lives for those going through the menopause.