IP firm launches comprehensive set of measures to encourage discussion and support colleagues experiencing the menopause with firmwide menopause policy
European IP firm Mewburn Ellis has launched a firmwide menopause policy to encourage discussion around, and support colleagues dealing with, the impact of menopause. The policy is thought to be the first of its kind in the European IP sector.
The programme, which follows extensive research and internal discussion, will be led by the firm’s internal ‘Menopause Champions’ group. These are colleagues who are passionate about the subject and helping others, and have experiences to share. The Champions have all been trained on the issue, with some having experienced or currently experiencing menopause as well.
The first initiative announced was creating a safe space for discussion about the menopause on the firm’s digital channels. This designated discussion group provides resources as well as acting as a platform where women can share useful information and experiences. The group currently has 37 members.
Next, Mewburn Ellis has committed to the Menopause Workplace Pledge from women’s health charity Wellbeing of Women, and is currently undertaking an independent assessment and accreditation with a view to becoming a Menopause Friendly Employer.
With regards to awareness raising, the firm is putting in place a series of learning and development modules. The first of these, an educational training session with an external specialist speaker, was well attended and has paved the way for discussions around the wider impact of menopause in both work and personal life.
Physical resources will be available to help increase awareness and support employees. This includes a Menopause Book Club which will ensure the books on the topic are present in every office for people to borrow. Each office will also be equipped with a Menopause Toolkit comprising free sanitary products and other items available to anyone that needs them.
This is an issue which goes beyond the ‘four walls’ of Mewburn Ellis. To recognise this, the firm has also made a £5,000 donation to the Menopause Charity to help fund promotion around this important topic.
The announcement follows the appointment of Robert Andrews to the newly created role of Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer earlier this year, alongside the launch of the internal Inclusion & Diversity Collaboration Group.
Robert Andrews, Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer at Mewburn Ellis comments:
“For too long the needs of women experiencing menopause have been overlooked in the workplace despite women’s health being essential to an inclusive work culture. Thankfully that is now changing, and our society is starting to be more open about the physical and emotional strain that the menopause can cause.
“We’re determined to break the stigma around menopause and empower our colleagues to share their experiences. It has been incredibly heart-warming to see how well-received our new policy is amongst colleagues and their genuine passion to engage with the programme and support in any way possible. The policy signals a step in the right direction for the IP industry and will remain a crucial pillar of our ongoing inclusivity efforts.”