The 18th of October was World Menopause Day, we are pleased to announce that we have drafted a Menopause Policy to increase awareness, support and guidance for staff at UWE. We presented the policy to Directorate at UWE, which was warmly received and we will be working with the University, with the aim to publication later this year.

The aim of the policy is to reduce the stigma of talking about menopause so that women, non binary and trans people can all talk about their experiences of the menopause. We have also taken an inter-sectional approach acknowledging how menopause can affect people differently. E.g. Some disabilities can be worsened by menopause.

Why is it important at UWE?

We spend most of our lives at work and 59% of staff at UWE are women, with the majority of those falling in the standard pre and post menopausal age ranges. As mentioned above, it is not just women who experience menopause and also individuals can experience early menopause due to a variety of reasons e.g. other health conditions. So an overwhelming majority of staff at UWE are or will experience menopause, with effects potentially lasting 10 years and even those who will never directly experience menopause may have partners who will or manage staff members will.

Some may cope well with the physical and emotional changes, but for others they may cause particular difficulties both in work and out of work. And we all know how problems outside of work can also impact on performance at work. These problems can be made even worse by the fact that there remains considerable ignorance and misunderstanding about the menopause, with it often being treated as an embarrassing or taboo subject, or even a topic to make fun of.

Alice Smith
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