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Devizes firm becomes one of first in UK to be accredited Menopause Friendly

Devizes-based housing association Aster has become one of the first businesses in the UK to be awarded the Menopause Friendly Employer accreditation.

Menopausal women are currently the fastest-growing workplace demographic, and the accreditation recognises inclusive employers that build awareness and understanding around menopause.

The average age for women to reach menopause is 51 – and eight in ten of them are active in the workforce.

Three in four experiencing symptoms, and as many as one in four consider leaving work during their menopause – making it a key area for employer focus.

Aster’s menopause support programme, which includes Hot Topic sofa sessions, leader awareness training and talks from leading authorities in menopause and women’s health was assessed by an expert independent panel from Henpicked.

Henpicked provides line manager and colleague training, videos, e-learning, policy and communications expertise around menopause in the workplace.

The Aster menopause support programme has been running for three years and is part of its mission to create an inclusive working environment.

Its commitment to ongoing training, awareness and guidance helps those experiencing menopause symptoms and support their colleagues more effectively.

These can be physical and psychological, ranging from hot flushes and insomnia to anxiety, fatigue and brain fog.

Jane Pound, people director at Aster said: “It’s very exciting to work for an employer that realises that at least half of its workforce is going to experience this sometimes life-changing event.

“To be open and honest and to create a community where colleagues can get support, knowing they’re not on their own, is so important.”

Julie Cridland, employee experience lead at Aster said: “One of the big positives is lots of women who are now connected with the menopause work we’re doing don’t feel on their own anymore.

“I’ve had feedback from people who didn’t feel like themselves, were thinking of leaving work, wondered what was going on.

“Knowing they’re working for an employer that recognises that and has support mechanisms in place is so helpful.”