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First organizations benefit from menopause standard

BSI’s menopause standard reaches over 100 countries in first year.

11 June 2024: Oxford Brookes University, Virgin Media and the Welsh Parliament are among the organizations that have utilized BSI’s pioneering menopause at work guidance in the year since it was published, helping to support employees experiencing menopause or menstrual health challenges and retain their experience and talent. BSI is now urging all political parties to consider menopause support as a key plank in their manifestos for the 2024 election.

BSI, the UK National Standards Body, published the menstruation, menstrual health and menopause in the workplace standard (BS 30416) a year ago. In the year since it has become the most downloaded British Standard of the year, reaching 102 countries.

In addition to the standard, in April BSI launched free training to help strengthen organizations’ ability to effectively support employees experiencing menopause, achieving nearly 300 sign ups in its first two months.

The guidance was published to help organizations meet the needs of employees experiencing menopause or menstrual health by setting out practical recommendations for workplace adjustments, as well as strategies to sit alongside existing well-being initiatives. Global menopause productivity losses are estimated to already top $150 billion a year and BSI’s own report, entitled Lifting the Second Glass Ceiling, found that 29% of UK women expect to leave work before retirement with 42% expecting this to be due to health or well-being, while another fifth specifically cite menopause.

The research also found that 75% of UK women want employers to take action to retain older women in the workforce and a fifth of business leaders surveyed in BSI’s Evolving Together: Flourishing in the Age-Diverse Workforce put employers providing support around menopause symptoms as a key priority. BSI is now calling for all political parties to consider including strategies to support people experiencing menopause in their manifestos.

Anne Hayes, Director of Sectors, BSI, said: “As our research shows, there are many factors that can lock women out of the workforce – but there are also clear strategies to address this, from support for workers experiencing menopause to steps in other areas such as working flexibly and breaking down stigma that could contribute to an enhanced work environment for all. In its first year this landmark guidance has helped prominent organizations take the first crucial steps to supporting talented people throughout their working lives. I am thrilled about the potential benefits this can bring around the country and globally as well.

“As the UK approaches a general election, with 71% of women wanting politicians to take action to retain older women in the workforce, there is an opportunity for the next government to further drive ambition, helping progress our collective journey towards a more diverse, equitable and productive working future.”

Electra Dottin, Oxford Brookes University, said: "The BSI Standard has been pivotal when driving forward the Menopause in the Workplace and Menstrual Equity work here at Oxford Brookes University. It has given us the stability to keep pushing our work forward making sure we prioritise our project work while keeping it at a high standard throughout."

Maxine Fletcher, Oxford Brookes University, said: "The BSI Standard has been a vital tool to help us frame and drive forward our work on menopause in the workplace and menstrual equity at Oxford Brookes University.  It has provided a supportive guide that ensures that we prioritise our project work appropriately and confidently, and it has been an important lever for engaging with senior management when shaping our strategic direction."