Finance

Linklaters rolls out global menopause policy for staff

Law firm Linklaters has set out a global menopause policy to provide support for employees going through it, raise awareness and boost retention among women.

The Magic Circle law firm’s policy is for colleagues who are “directly or indirectly” impacted by the menopause. It includes introducing an online module for managers and supervisors, creating a resource hub on menopause and extending its private medical insurance scheme with AXA Health to cover specialist consultations relating to the condition.

The policy, announced 10 May, comes as the City faces heightened criticism over the lack of support that financial services firms offer women going through menopause, a key facet of talent retention, and over diversity and inclusion strategies more broadly.

Menopause occurs when a woman stops having periods and is no longer able to get pregnant naturally. It is caused by a change in the body’s sex hormones and usually occurs between 45 and 55 years of age. However, one in 100 women can experience it earlier than that.

READ Why the City needs to tackle the taboo of menopause

Symptoms of menopause include hot flashes, night sweats, difficulty sleeping, anxiety and problems with memory and concentration.

“Menopause symptoms can have a detrimental impact on anybody living with them, and their working lives are not exempt from that,” said Jessamy Gallagher, executive committee champion for age and life stage at Linklaters, in a statement.

“It can also indirectly affect anyone, including those supporting a partner or family member living through the menopause,” she added. “People should not have to navigate the menopause in silence.”

READ Step up menopause policies or ‘risk losing key talent’, City warned

In October 2021, the Financial Services Skills Commission published a report focusing on how women in the sector were impacted by menopause. The FSSC found that a culture of silence and stigma surrounding the condition causes women to leave the sector.

Surveying 2,374 individuals in the sector from more than 100 different organisations, the researchers found that a quarter of employees currently experiencing menopause said their experience has made them more likely to leave the workforce before retirement.

In its report, the FSSC recommended that employers provide training for managers on the issue, increase awareness around menopause, and publish a policy or guidance document easily accessible for employees.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Bérengère Sim

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