The leading industry-recognised Menopause Friendly Employer Awards – powered by HSBC UK, first direct and M&S Bank – revealed its winners at a wonderful evening of celebration on Thursday September 22, 2022 at the Leonardo Royal Hotel, St Paul’s. There were 180 guests who attended in person while 100s more joined via live link from across the country as employers hosted regional parties.
Hosted by Menopause Friendly and supported by the CIPD, the Menopause Friendly Employer Awards were presented by broadcaster Louise Minchin who welcomed the Rt Hon Caroline Nokes MP, Chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee as a guest of honour.
“Not long ago, menopause in the workplace was a taboo but we are now seeing the tide turn,” says Deborah Garlick, CEO of Henpicked: Menopause in the Workplace and organiser of the Awards. “Growing numbers of employers are now working towards the Menopause Friendly Accreditation, recognising this is the kitemark of excellence for menopause in the workplace. These Awards show how remarkable work by such employers can change hearts and minds and make a real difference to people’s lived experience. All the finalists and winners bravely stepped into a space that can be uncomfortable to start with in a bid to normalise the conversation around menopause,” continues Deborah. “The Menopause Friendly Employer Awards recognise their commitment and determination to change the narrative and provide a platform to inspire others to follow their example.”
Alongside the headline sponsor HSBC UK, first direct and M&S Bank, the Awards were supported by BAE Systems, Santander, Lloyds Banking Group, Boots, Peppy, Bristol Myers Squibb, Celerity, Theramex and Vitabiotics.
Thanks to their generosity, the not-for-profit Awards will be donating £75,000 to three deserving causes – Wellbeing of Women and The Daisy Network charities and the University of Bournemouth – to further their excellent work and research into menopause, autism and neurodiversity.
“It has been an honour to headline sponsor this forward-thinking event,” says Chris Pitt, CEO of first direct. “Quite apart from enjoying the opportunity to celebrate their achievements, it is hugely inspiring to hear how organisations and individuals have helped bring acceptance, education and support of menopause to the workplace. Every employer is unique and that was evident in the varied approaches the judges saw. As for the individual award winners, it was humbling to hear about their dedication and commitment and to see so many putting others before themselves to safeguard a better future for everyone.”
The inaugural Menopause Friendly Employer Awards comprised 10 categories and it is notable that the two categories with the highest number of applications were ‘Most Open Workplace’ and ‘Best Support Group’.
“It was wonderful to see the Menopause Friendly Employer Awards bring together so much enthusiasm, commitment and focus to face the challenge of working through menopause,” says Rachel Suff, wellbeing adviser at the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development. “Having ‘Most Open Workplace’ and ‘Best Support Group’ attracting the most entries is indicative of the journey that is essential for all employers to raise awareness, open the conversation and provide a safe place for colleagues to feel comfortable opening up about their experience. I hope that other organisations will be inspired to look at their own workplace training and support programme going forwards.”
“The Menopause Friendly Employer Awards has been a remarkable event which fills me with optimism for the future of menopause in the workplace,” says the Rt Hon Caroline Nokes MP, Chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee. “If every employer was doing what these amazing employers are, the taboo around menopause in the workplace would end. It’s incredible how far we’ve come to be celebrating such progress and success, but there is plenty more work to be done. Employers who have a menopause policy in place know how valuable this is: I would urge them all to engage with at least one other business who has yet to address menopause in the workplace to speed the ripple effect across industry.”
The winners of the Menopause Friendly Employer Awards 2022 are as follows:
Category 1 – Menopause Friendly Employer of the Year
Bristol Myers Squibb
Category 2 – Most Open Workplace
Thames Valley Police
Category 3 – Best Engagement Campaign
Boots UK & Ireland, Boots Opticians and No 7 Beauty Company
Category 4 – Most Menopause Friendly Environment
HSBC UK including first direct and M&S Bank
Category 5 – Best Trained Workforce
Bristol Myers Squibb
Category 6 – Best Training Initiative
Leicestershire County Council
Category 7 – Best Support Group
Category 8 – Most Supportive Partner
Category 9 – Community Award
Mandy Baughurst – Leicestershire County Council
Category 10 – The Carolyn Lazurus Award
Theresa Winters – Santander UK
For further details of the Awards, winners and finalists visit: