Staff at Wolves who are going through the menopause now have provision in place to further support their health and wellbeing with the creation of the club’s first menopause policy.
The policy has been designed to raise awareness of menopause transition, while providing information and support for those who are directly or indirectly affected, including employees, their managers and other colleagues.
The menopause is a natural event in most women’s lives, usually between the ages of 45 and 55 and typically lasts between four and eight years, during which they stop having periods and experience hormonal changes such as a decrease in oestrogen levels.
It can often feel very isolating and many people are reluctant to let anyone know they’re experiencing it, especially in the workplace and therefore fail to access the best available support.
However, as one pack, Wolves are committed to developing a workplace culture that supports its staff experiencing the menopause and for them to feel confident to raise issues about their symptoms and ask for further support and reasonable adjustments at work.
The policy has been written by Wolves’ health protection nurse Michelle Rich, who said: “Football has been a predominantly male dominated business, although that is changing now, and many of the female staff at Wolves have had male managers and might not have felt they could speak to them about it, because unless you’re going through the menopause, you don’t really know much about it.
“The menopause is sometimes thought about a bit jovially, when actually it could be a serious issue. Staff might be too scared to say they need to go to the GP when they have menopause symptoms, such as hot flushes, mood changes and changes in menstrual cycle, when blood tests and medication might support them and make their work-life balance better.
“We’ve also got to look at the mental health aspect of our staff as well, because if they’re going through the menopause, they might not be sleeping or experiencing other symptoms and then they’ve got to come to work, but this policy will give them greater flexibility.
“If there are any problems, this policy is in place to support not only the staff who are going through the menopause, but also managers who might need a bit more information about how to make sure their staff are supported in the best possible way.”
Wolves’ menopause policy comes off the back of the introduction of the club’s ‘Pause to Chat’ support group, set up last year by Kerri Davies and Lin Kennings, which provides advice, support and education to all staff members, not only those going through the menopause, but those who may be working or living with someone who has symptoms.
Michelle said: “Pause to Chat is one of the most supportive groups I’ve ever been involved in. Lin and Kerri have made everyone welcome and although they have confidential discussions, it’s all about the way they support each other, and the advice and experiences which is provided has helped turn people’s lives around.
“The menopause policy and the Pause to Chat group is just a few of the absolutely amazing things the club is doing to make Wolves a very happy place to work.
“It’s great that it’s gone from a small support group, to having a policy that’s been approved so quickly and efficiently. It just shows the club really do care about its staff and their health and wellbeing.”
Zoe Brough, human resources director and equality, diversity and inclusion lead at Wolves, added: “The introduction of a menopause policy is a vitally important step forward for the club as part of our continued commitment to provide the best support possible to our people across the workforce.
“We are all very proud of the work carried out by Michelle in writing the policy and Kerri and Lin for driving the Pause to Chat support group forward, as they help pave the way for more women to feel comfortable enough to be their best, authentic selves at Wolves.”
Wolves’ menopause policy can be found here.