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What you can learn from Bloom’s Menofesto

Bloom shares the best learnings from across the industry to help companies better support women through the Menopause.

Nicola Kemp

Editorial Director

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One in ten women will feel suicidal during the Menopause. This shocking stat, an experience exacerbated by the silence, stigma and shame which still surrounds the menopause, sits at the heart of Bloom’s groundbreaking ‘Menofesto’.

The professional women’s network partnered with specialist recruitment agency Major Players to launch the ‘Menofesto’ to provide a support framework from business leaders, as well as reassure women across the industry that talking about and experiencing the Menopause is an absolutely normal part of life. 

To support the launch Bloom also undertook its own research which showed almost a quarter (24%) of women feel comfortable talking about the menopause to their boss, despite the fact 80% will experience symptoms. 

Whether you’re a business leader looking to retain your talent and create a supportive working environment, a woman looking to share new ideas with your colleagues on how best they can support you, or are simply interested to learn more, the Bloom Menofesto has been created for you

Samantha Frankel, Chief Strategy Officer at Bloom UK and Founder of Bloom MPower

The menopause is not a niche issue

Addressing this issue is particularly urgent for the creative industries; with data showing the lack of older women in employment. The All In census (March 2021) shows the industry skews heavily towards the 25-34 age bracket and there is a considerable drop off for women as their age increases (just 15% of any gender over the age of 45 dropping to 4.2% for over 55). 

At any one time, there are thought to be 18 million peri and post-menopausal working women in the UK, underlining the fact that the menopause is not a niche issue. Around 80% of these women will experience a range of physical and psychological symptoms which have a significant impact on women in the workplace. For 1 in 4, it will seriously impact their career, confidence, ambition and progression. 

According to research from Forth with Life, 90% of women say their workplace doesn’t offer any help to menopausal women, while only 3% of managers are given relevant training. 

The creative industries also have a unique role to play in destigmatising the menopause in popular culture. Groundbreaking campaigns such as TENA and AMV BBDO’s Last Lonely Menopause, show the creative firepower of breaking the silence and stigma surrounding the Menopause. 

According to research from Bloom’s inclusion group Mpower only 45% of people felt they had had the stages of menopause or perimenopause properly explained to them. While only 18% who experienced symptoms felt they understood what was happening.

With this in mind, the Bloom Menofesto aims to demystify and destigmatise the menopause by sparking new conversations at work. As well as provide best in class examples of brands and agencies putting policies and frameworks in place to better support women experiencing the menopause. 

Samantha Frankel, Chief Strategy Officer at Bloom UK and Founder of Bloom MPower, says: “One of Bloom’s core values is spearheading industry change, and we’re launching The Bloom Menofesto to do exactly that. Two years ago – along with with a handful of Bloom women, each with their own discriminatory menopause or age-related story – I set up our inclusion group Bloom Mpower as a space to empower midlife and beyond, and the idea for this Menofesto was born. We’ve come a long way since then, and while the long-overdue conversation around menopause is gathering pace, now it’s time for action.”

She continued: “So, whether you’re a business leader looking to retain your talent and create a supportive working environment, a woman looking to share new ideas with your colleagues on how best they can support you, or are simply interested to learn more, the Bloom Menofesto has been created for you.”

Caroline Mastoras, President of Bloom, says the Bloom MPower team that spearheaded the Bloom Menofesto has worked tirelessly to ensure that the policies,  research and real life stories will be used over the coming years to future proof women’s careers during a time when the industry needs to commit to supporting women across all ages and life stages. She added: “This issue is long overdue being tackled by the industry and I am immensely proud that at Bloom we are leading this Conversation.”

Research shows that symptoms such as hot flushes, fatigue, and low moods can affect home life and relationships, as well as careers, to the extent that some women leave the employment market altogether because they don’t get the support they need. With women making up the majority of our workforce, it is really important that we help as they navigate this important life transition

Pete Markey, CMO of Boots

Learning from progressive leaders

The Menofesto also highlights the trailblazers in this space such as Ogilvy, which under then Chief People Officer Helen Matthews, was one of the first agencies to create a supportive policy in 2019.

Boots is another trailblazer when it comes to placing supportive policies in place. Pete Markey, CMO of Boots, explained: “Earlier this year, we announced that we will cover the cost of team members’ prescriptions for those able and wanting to take HRT. Research shows that symptoms such as hot flushes, fatigue, and low moods can affect home life and relationships, as well as careers, to the extent that some women leave the employment market altogether because they don’t get the support they need. With women making up the majority of our workforce, it is really important that we help as they navigate this important life transition.” 

Elsewhere, Diageo has also moved to break the silence in the workplace. “As well as equipping our people with leading medical advice, support and diagnosis, we are continuing to encourage open and trusted conversations across Diageo and we have trained over 40 male and female menopause advocates who will work with their teams over the coming months to help build their teams knowledge in this field.” explained Caroline Rhodes, Global Inclusion and Diversity Director at Diageo.

In addition to the Bloom Menofesto, Bloom will also be launching the Mpower accreditation initiative, where women in communications can nominate their place of work for having a menopause policy in place and successfully implementing it. 

To download the Bloom Menofesto and find out more about the accreditation, click here.

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