Davina McCall has joined forces with industry charity the Retail Trust in urging retail employers to better support menopausal and perimenopausal women. The award-winning TV presenter has been at the forefront of fighting the stigma around the menopause following her Channel 4 documentary, Sex, Myths and The Menopause.
Menopausal women are the fastest growing work demographic in the UK and a raft of studies have shown the impact of the menopause at work:
76% of respondents felt their symptoms had been problematic in the workplace, according to The Menopause survey 2018.
20% said they had considered quitting their job as a result, rising to 44% of those experiencing the most severe symptoms.
The 2018 STUC Women’s Committee survey found that 32% of respondents felt the menopause was treated negatively at work, and 63% said it was treated as a joke.
Just over three-quarters of women reported that their employers offered no information or support around the menopause, according to a 2019 survey compiled by Dr Louise Newson and Dr Rebecca Lewis of the Newson Health and Wellbeing Centre.
McCall said: “There’s still a taboo in talking about menopause and perimenopause in the workplace and this has to change. We need to make it normal and unremarkable for people to discuss it at work, which is why it’s great that the Retail Trust is putting menopause on its agenda. For retailers that really care about their employees’ wellbeing, creating an open and supportive culture around menopause is a great start in helping to tackle it.”
Chris Brook-Carter, chief executive of the Retail Trust, said: “Retail workers everywhere have suffered many consequences of the pandemic and the future success of the industry now rests heavily on the hope, health and happiness of its workforce. We’re running this event because we want retail employers to ask themselves whether they are really doing enough to support mental health, ensure inclusivity and build rewarding careers, and the menopause is something that they can no longer ignore as part of this.
“Women make up a large proportion of the British retail sector so the industry already has a real responsibility to step up and support those experiencing the perimenopause and menopause, many of whom will be at the peak of their careers and under other pressures. But every single one of us need to know and talk about the menopause and Davina is absolutely right that the support starts with creating more open conversations at work that will help us all to tackle this taboo.”
McCall will call on retailers to tackle the taboo and create a more open workplace culture at a free Retail Trust event this November aimed at improving staff wellbeing, where she will be interviewed by best-selling author and former Sunday Times Style, Cosmopolitan and Elle editor Lorraine Candy.