Moira Laird, HR Director, UK & Europe at Valor Hospitality
In a world that is constantly evolving, it’s essential for businesses to adapt and support their teams through all stages of life. As we approach World Menopause Day on October 18th, Valor Hospitality proudly stands as an industry leader, committed to breaking the taboo surrounding menopause in the workplace. This initiative not only reflects our dedication to fostering a caring work environment, but also recognises the invaluable contributions of women living through the menopause within our teams.
In recent years in the UK, there have been positive strides made in raising awareness around menopause – mainly thanks to high-profile figures such as Davina McCall and Penny Lancaster. However, there is still much work to be done, especially to drive change and increase consciousness within the corporate world. According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), 59% of working women between the ages of 45 and 55 who experience menopause symptoms report that it negatively impacts their work. This is a stark reminder that employers must act now to better support these women, ideally as part of a broader wellbeing strategy.
Earlier this year, Valor Hospitality took a significant step forward by launching its own menopause policy. This policy is designed to provide support and understanding to team members experiencing menopause and perimenopause, making sure their needs are met while they continue to progress and excel in the workplace. Our commitment to this cause goes far beyond box-ticking policy implementation. It extends to comprehensive training sessions and a continued effort to have open and transparent conversations about the menopause and the daily impact it can have on women at work.
At Valor, we have organised insightful training sessions for our teams, focusing on various aspects of menopause in the workplace. These sessions cover strategies for managing conversations about menopause, as well as the creation of personalised wellbeing action plans for individuals. By educating our workforce about the menopause experience and its impact, we aim to encourage open conversations and ensure everyone is treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.
Why so stigmatised?
At Valor Hospitality, we know that menopause is part of life’s normal cycle, and so extensive support should be readily available to those who may be suffering from symptoms at work. With menopausal women representing the fastest-growing demographic in the workforce, it has become more critical than ever to facilitate open discussions about this natural phase of life. Our organisation (with 52% women, 15% of whom are in the age bracket of 45-55) is fiercely dedicated to nurturing a culture of belonging and inclusion, high performance, and great leadership.
In our pursuit of a menopause-friendly workplace, we have worked closely with our leadership teams and women in various roles who may be struggling to maintain their previous levels of high performance. Our primary goal has been to support them through this phase of life and ensure they continue to feel confident, capable, and able continue succeeding in their career. By raising awareness across the organisation, we have made menopause a regular topic of discussion, embraced by both male and female team members alike.
We’ve watched on with pride as this consistent dialogue continues to promote a sense of unity and support among our team members. Menopause is no longer a hushed topic, but rather a part of our overall wellbeing and team care strategy. The openness of those who have experienced menopause, are currently going through it, or are in perimenopause, has led to the sharing of experiences and stories that further strengthen our sense of community.
As a business, we have witnessed the remarkable benefits of supporting and adapting to each individual’s unique needs during this phase of life. Our investment in the wellbeing of menopausal team members has been richly rewarded through their continued dedication and contribution to our organisation. This age bracket possesses invaluable life skills, business knowledge, and, in many cases, years of loyal service, making them an indispensable part of our workforce.
A corporate world with more compassion
Valor Hospitality is proud to be at the forefront of the movement to create a menopause-friendly workplace. As we approach World Menopause Day, we encourage businesses everywhere to follow suit, recognising that menopause is a natural part of life and that support and understanding go a long way in retaining this vital group of talent. Together, we can break the taboo, celebrate diversity, and build a more inclusive and compassionate corporate world.