Louise Minchin is helping leading food and drink manufacturer Princes to launch its new menopause friendly policy and practices in the workplace next week.
The broadcaster and journalist will be joined by menopause expert Dr Helen Kini in a live Q&A on menopause awareness exclusively for Princes colleagues on Thursday, October 20, titled The Power of Knowledge.
On the panel will also be hosts Joe Dent, Chief People Officer of Princes, and Ruth Simpson, Group Director and Gender Diversity Champion.
Louise has spoken candidly about her own menopause experience which saw her dealing with hot flushes and brain fog at work.
She believes it is vitally important that employers welcome conversations about the menopause and make it easy for women – and men – to access information, advice and practical support.
Princes will launch its new Menopause Policy for its UK colleagues on Monday, October 17 under the banner of ‘Our Health & Wellbeing’.
Louise, who experienced a myriad of symptoms until starting on HRT, said: “It’s brilliant what Princes are doing. Menopause is not one size fits all and everyone will have a different experience.
“I really struggled with the temperature in the BBC Breakfast studio and felt embarrassed sitting in front of an audience of six million people knowing I was having a hot flush.
“In the end I outed myself and had what I was anticipating would be a super awkward conversation with my boss. It turned out to be fine, but I’ve spoken to lots of other women since then who have felt unable to continue in their jobs.
“These are women at the top of their careers and in important jobs, juggling childcare and caring for elderly parents, who would be a huge loss to a business. In today’s world, conversations about the menopause just shouldn’t be this awkward for anyone anymore.”
Dr Helen Kini, an experienced doctor in the NHS and co-founder of Flourish For Life, the first lifestyle medicine clinic on the Wirral, said: “Menopause is entirely natural, but it isn’t easy and for many women it is an incredibly difficult time that can negatively impact work life, home life and relationships.
“Having an open culture of conversations around the subject in the workplace is absolutely the way to go. It is also important for men too who may feel lost about how to help a loved one.”
Ruth Simpson, Group Director and Gender Diversity Champion of Princes, said: “This is a really important step for Princes and we’re delighted that Louise and Helen are helping us to get the message across to our colleagues that there are resources available for women and their partners.
“We want to normalise the conversation around the menopause so we can build our support in the workplace. Menopause is a normal part of a woman’s life and it needs to be a normal part of their working life too.
“As well as announcing our new Menopause Policy this week, we will be running support groups across our UK sites, workshops to train our managers and reviewing our uniforms to include lighter and breathable fabrics. We will also be offering all UK colleagues access to Stella, a menopause app for on-demand personalised symptom relief.”
Joe Dent, Chief People Officer of Princes, said: “With an ambition to be an employer of choice, it is important to me that we continuously challenge ourselves to check and recheck that we are pushing ourselves to do the right thing.”
During the Q&A, Louise will be speaking about the difficulties and symptoms she faced as she went through the menopause while Dr Kini will discuss ways to manage symptoms at work.