As delivered to Community’s Biennial Delegate Conference in Belfast on June 1st 2022.
Conference, Tracy Barlow, speaking on the NEC’s support for Composite motion F on the menopause revolution.
Conference, women experiencing the menopause are amongst the fastest growing cohort in the workplace. There are currently 3.5 million women going through the menopause in the U.K. workforce.
Whilst some will experience no symptoms, for others menopause is a life-changing condition with symptoms ranging from anxiety and heart palpitations to insomnia and joint pain.
Those experiencing this should be able to seek reasonable adjustments from their bosses, as they should with any physical condition. Yet some women find themselves unable to do so, at the receiving end of hurtful jokes, even forced out of a job.
62 per cent of women who experienced menopausal symptoms said it had an impact on them at work, and yet 44 per cent said they felt too embarrassed to ask for support and 33 per cent said they hid their symptoms.
Even one woman on the end of mistreatment, of being forced out of their job, because they are going through the menopause is too many.
So how can we solve this problem?
All workplaces should have menopause policies, setting out the organisational approach and the support women going through the menopause can expect to receive. It should set a gold standard, to ensure no woman going through the menopause faces mistreatment.
Our reps have been working tirelessly and have already secured menopause policies at many of our key workplaces such as Zurich and NSPCC. But we cannot stop there, until these are in every workplace for every worker.
There should be greater awareness and training available for menopausal women to know the support available to them, and for their colleagues to understand the impact of menopause on women.
Conference, in backing this motion, your union reps will be supported to introduce menopause policies into all workplaces. Yes, I do mean, ALL workplaces.
In backing this motion Community will call upon the government to conduct further research into women’s health issues such as menopause and endometriosis, to further our understanding and the support available to those affected.
In backing this motion, we will campaign for better healthcare information to be available, including expanding menopause awareness to include other conditions such as endometriosis, heavy menstrual cycles and hormone imbalances.
But most importantly, in backing this motion we will ensure that Community is leading the way in campaigning for the rights of the 3.5 million women in the workplace experiencing menopause and says loudly and clearly to all those women that we are with you every step of the way.
Conference, thank you.