Cornerstone is one of 13 successful applicants to the Scottish Government’s Workplace Equality Fund, driving forward Scotland’s Fair Work Framework. Working with The People Portfolio the significant grant will allow Cornerstone to progress with a Menopause Awareness Project to increase support for colleagues experiencing menopausal symptoms.  

Hazel Brown, Chief Executive of Cornerstone, said: 

“We were absolutely delighted to learn recently that our grant application to the Workplace Equality Fund for a Menopause Awareness Project had been successful. 

With over 78 per cent of Cornerstone’s workforce being female, a third of whom are between the ages of 45-55, it is vitally important that we better understand the impact of perimenopause, menopause, and post menopause and identify ways in which we can better support those colleagues experiencing symptoms. 

“We will look to raise awareness, remove barriers, increase support and training, and ensure that we have the appropriate, menopause-friendly, workplace and recruitment measures in place to encourage more women to join Cornerstone or indeed to allow them to be able to remain at, or return to, work. 

“The grant, which is worth £118,400 over two years, will allow us to now move forward with this innovative piece of work in partnership with The People Portfolio. 

“We will also be working towards achieving Menopause Friendly Accreditation and pledge to share the important findings and recommendations of the project in due course.” 

Over a two-year period, the project will set out to research and address the barriers to employment within the social care sector that women experiencing symptoms of perimenopause, menopause and post-menopause can face. The project will also explore and implement ways to better support and retain colleagues who experience menopausal symptoms. By increasing understanding of all colleagues, leaders and recruitment teams, this project aims to help address unconscious bias and improve the employment experience of women - whether currently employed or looking to return to employment. 

Morna Ronnie Founder of The People Portfolio added:  

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to partner with Cornerstone on their Menopause Awareness Project. We are looking forward to making a difference at both an individual and organisational level, on this very important topic.”  

The Workplace Equality Fund is being administered by Advice Direct Scotland, and recipients will now receive grants to address long-standing barriers in the labour market. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon first launched the fund in 2018 and it is designed to ensure that everyone – irrespective of disability, gender, age or race – can fulfil their potential and improve Scotland’s economic performance as a result. 

The Scottish Government’s Fair Work Framework sets out what fair work means in Scotland, offering all individuals an effective voice, opportunity, security, fulfilment, and respect. It is being used to fund projects that are focused on one or more priority groups such as women, minority ethnic workers, disabled workers and workers aged over 50. 

Earlier this year, Advice Direct Scotland encouraged charities, third sector organisations, public sector organisations and private sector businesses to apply. A total of 54 applications were received, with 13 schemes now selected to receive funding, including Cornerstone.