Standard Chartered has rolled out changes to its employee benefits programme in line with its continued ambition to create a dynamic and attractive place to work.

As a first step towards enhancing inclusivity for all employees, the Bank has standardized the amount of parental leave offered to all colleagues. Both male and female colleagues in Kenya can look forward to six months parental leave to enable greater equality in caregiving responsibilities for their children.

The company also announced a comprehensive cover for menopausal employees, which will see eligible colleagues enjoy additional medical benefits that cover often overlooked menopausal symptoms.

“We are committed towards driving an equitable and inclusive culture, where employees are able to achieve their potential and balance the shifting demands on their family or health while enjoying an enabling work environment,” Evans Munyori, Head of Human Resources, Standard Chartered Kenya.

The enhanced parental care will empower colleagues irrespective of their gender, relationship status or how the child comes to permanently join an employee’s family.

At the same time, while the menopause transition is not a uniform experience, it has been proven to have a negative effect on participation in the workplace if not proactively managed. Standard Chartered’s coverage will offer a range of options including access to specialised medical practitioners and prescription medications such as Hormone Replacement Therapy.

“It is clear that menopause can have an adverse impact on women’s careers in terms of retention and progression if not managed proactively. We believe that we must play our role in assisting our female employees navigate that period and offer a comprehensive cover for them. We will continue to look for more opportunities to drive inclusion and strengthen our position as an employer of choice,”  Mr. Munyori.

For many women, menopause transition occurs between the ages of 45-55 and coincides with the point at which they could attain senior leadership roles.

Standard Chartered partnered with the Financial Services Skills Commission (FSSC) in the UK to explore the impact that menopause has on women in the senior leadership talent pipeline.

The research found that nearly half of the women surveyed were found to be less likely to apply for a promotion or take on additional responsibilities due to the severity of their menopause symptoms, while a quarter said they were more likely to leave the workforce before retirement.

Standard Chartered is a signatory of the Wellbeing of Women’s Menopause Workplace Pledge and a member of the Menopause Friendly Employer organisation.