Standard Chartered has launched its first-ever dedicated menopause guidance for its employees, coinciding with this year’s World Menopause Day. The new move aims to create a more inclusive working environment for all its employees.
The bank announced a number of actions to make sure support and guidance around menopause is provided to all colleagues. This approach is designed to enhance the company’s existing health and wellbeing policy for its 85,000 workforce in over 59 markets globally.
Key changes in the menopause guidance include the following.
- A specialist guide for all employees, including dedicated advice for People Leaders, to help educate and increase awareness of the menopause.
- Flexible working options that have been launched at-scale earlier this year provide a particular focus on how the Bank can support colleagues in the management of menopause symptoms.
- Availability of menopause counselling through the Bank’s Employee Assistance Programme.
- Peer-to-peer support facilitated through the internal Employee Resource Groups.
- Additional uniforms available for front-line staff.
- Access to private, cool and well-ventilated areas.
A report published by Stan Chart titled Menopause in the Workplace: Impact on Women in Financial Services, in partnership with the Financial Services Skills Commission, reveals that women’s experiences of menopause impacts their confidence in performing their roles. It further points out that a lack of awareness and support from employers and colleagues to help manage these symptoms means that women are less keen to progress into more senior roles.
The research fielded in the UK brings to the forefront the importance of talking openly, positively and respectfully about menopause to support women.
Tanuj Kapilashrami, Group Head of Human Resources at Standard Chartered commented, “There’s a culture of silence around the menopause in financial services, with many women taking it on themselves to absorb the impacts of their experiences. A lack of understanding and support is impacting female progression and at times leading to women opting out of the workforce altogether. ”
The report further noted that initiatives that other organizations can also implement to address the barriers faced by women experiencing menopause. It recommended interventions such as additional training, awareness raising activity and greater flexibility in working arrangements.