Last summer we were delighted to announce we had been successful in our grant application to the Workplace Equality Fund, allowing us to progress with a Menopause Awareness Project (MAP) in partnership with our project partners The People Portfolio.

This project is contributing towards one of our three strategic aims— to be the best social care employer in Scotland.

With over 78% of our workforce being female, and 45% being between the ages of 35–55, it is vitally important that we better understand the impact of perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause and identify ways in which we, as an organisation, can better support those experiencing symptoms.

To date, the project has successfully delivered:

  • A menopause survey—colleagues were invited to complete our in-house survey, helping us to learn about their lived experience and what support they are looking for.
  • Online resources—a bank of materials was launched last month on a range of menopause topics including; science and symptoms, nutrition, movement, sleep and stress and self-regulation. The information comes in a variety of formats from reading materials to podcasts, suiting every learning style.
  • Menopause lending library—a variety of books on a range of menopause topics are now available at a number of Cornerstone hubs and offices.
  • Line Manager Menopause Awareness Training—all managers are currently attending this mandatory workshop, helping prepare them to support their colleagues and be able to signpost to resources and other avenues for support.
  • Menopause Support Policy—the entire project is underpinned by our new policy, which sets out the guidelines for managers and colleagues to provide the right support to help manage menopausal symptoms at work.

There’s lots more exciting work in the project plan for the next year including the rollout of an optional, protected-space virtual workshop where women can learn more about the science of menopause, discuss how to manage symptoms and be guided on what support there is available through Cornerstone. Men-only sessions will also be arranged, offering a safe space for men to ask questions on the topic and to learn more about the science and symptoms. Additionally, these men only sessions will cover the impact of menopausal symptoms and how they might best be able to offer support to their colleagues, family and friends who are going through symptoms.

As a mark of our commitment to ensuring Cornerstone becomes a menopause friendly and supportive employer, we have also registered for ‘The Menopause Friendly Accreditation.’ This is a mark of excellence and recognises the highest standard of achievement. It supports, recognises, and celebrates organisations who make this commitment.

The aims of the Menopause Awareness Project (MAP) are to:

  • Enable everyone to feel comfortable talking about menopause, never feeling that the subject is taboo or off limits
  • Help colleagues experiencing symptoms that are affecting them, especially in the workplace, so they can continue to be successful in their roles and responsibilities, directing them to sources of information and support
  • Ensure that managers and colleagues recognise their responsibility to supporting menopause in the workplace

When we are confident that the work of the Menopause Awareness Project is truly making a positive and long-lasting difference to Cornerstone's culture, a panel of highly qualified and independent judges will assess our efforts and determine if we have done enough to be awarded full accreditation.