Publicis•Poke Tackles the Taboo of Talking About Menopause with New Policy
Today, Publicis•Poke launches a new policy to mitigate the negative impact of menopause on people’s personal and professional lives, whether working from home or in an office.
The policy will focus on five support areas, available to all people experiencing menopausal symptoms whether they identify as female or not. The support available through the policy and how it is implemented across the Groupe, is built to evolve and adapt, based on people’s needs and feedback on what is most impactful.
Publicis•Poke is also developing training to raise awareness of and educate employees, and specifically people managers, on the menopause, so that people feel empowered to have open conversations around a topic that’s often taboo.
Speaking on the policy launch, Publicis•Poke managing partner Katie Edwards who led the creation of the new policy, said: “There is a taboo in talking about menopause in the advertising industry, and yet so many people are either going through, or will go through at some point, menopause during their working lives. The physical, emotional and mental impact can have an adverse effect on their day-to-day experience at work. Yet with just a few small adjustments, we can make a huge and positive difference.”
Research from the CIPD has previously revealed that three out of five working people experiencing menopausal symptoms say it has a negative impact on them at work.
Menopause typically affects people between the ages of 45 and 55 and lasts for around four to eight years, and it can cause symptoms that can have a negative impact on someone at work, such as sleeplessness, hot flushes, memory loss or poor concentration, headaches, muscle and joint pains, depression and anxiety.
Paula Cunnington, chief talent officer of Publicis Groupe UK, added: “We want to change the conversation around menopause which can receive much less attention but be no less impactful on someone’s life. But first, we have to empower colleagues to feel comfortable and supported to discuss openly the impact it has on them in work – no matter who it affects, and at which stage they are. That’s why we want to roll the policy out throughout Publicis Groupe UK, starting with Publicis•Poke.”
The policy sets out the support available to people experiencing menopausal symptoms with a focus on five key areas:
- Flexible Working –changes to the pattern of hours worked; permission to perform work from home, a reduction in working hours and more frequent breaks.
- Temperature control – physical adjustments (e.g. to be seated near a window), access to cooler meeting rooms available.
- Occupational Health – receive support from an Occupational Health adviser in specific cases to help identify workplace adjustments tailored to the individual’s needs where existing support is not sufficient for the individual.
- Employee Assistance Programme – access to a confidential employee support helpline.
- Headline resources – access to resources available under Publicis Groupe UK’s
Headline Programme and the Headspace app where employees take part in a number of sessions such as yoga and meditation. The Headline programme includes an Employee Assistance Programme that offers free 24/7 telephone support and guidance along with 90 trained Mental Health First Aiders and 130 Headline Ambassadors who provide confidential support and advice.
Employees who do not wish to discuss the issue with their manager can hold an initial discussion with their Publicis•Poke Talent Partner who will be specially trained to help those who request help.