“It’s important to share what we’re doing on a topic that affects women, while raising awareness”
Karen Broad, Avanti West Coast Talent Development Manager, explains why she's helped introduced menopause guidance.
24 March 2023
Karen Broad, Talent Development Manager at Avanti West Coast, explains why she’s helped to create guidance to encourage conversation and increase education around menopause.
Menopause will impact most of us at some point in our lives, either personally, or someone close to us. At Avanti West Coast we’ve received a lot of feedback on this topic – particularly how we can help women through this time in their life, and increase understanding, as it’s something we all need to know about.
I’m proud to be a part of the core team of our gender network, which is designed to provide a safe space to discuss challenges, share ideas and lobby the organisation to make changes that our colleagues want on topics that matter most to them.
With menopause being important to our staff, and members of the gender network feeling passionately about it too, we’ve worked to make changes for those going through it and bring to life the support available with the launch of our Menopause Guidance.
The guidance has been shaped by our staff – we held listening sessions to understand their experiences, learn what would help, and gather ideas as to what the organisation could do.
We want our staff to feel comfortable discussing menopause as well as being able to provide and offer support. It shouldn’t be a taboo subject. This is why the guidance is aimed at everyone.
Education is the main aim of the guidance. It’s designed to provide hints, tips, and signpost to support. It’s important to share what we’re doing for our people on a topic that affects women while raising awareness amongst our colleagues.
We want our staff to feel comfortable discussing menopause as well as being able to provide and offer support. It shouldn’t be a taboo subject. This is why the guidance is aimed at everyone. Our colleagues don’t need to be experiencing symptoms – it could be that their friends or family are going through it – so the guidance is designed to be a handy resource to help people understand.
The guide is just the beginning. We want to get more people talking about the subject. We’ve launched a menopause group for colleagues on our internal channels. By creating a private community, we hope to encourage people to talk and share their experiences of menopause and perimenopause.
We also hope to use the group to host menopause cafes – where colleagues can meet and hear from guest speakers. We want to create an environment in which our staff can openly and comfortably discuss menopause and feel they can ask for support.
By encouraging conversation, I hope we’ll not only make this important matter a regular topic of discussion but inspire further change – whether it’s better support or more tools and resources for those affected by it.
Main image: Karen Broad, Avanti West Coast Talent Development Manager
Images (top to bottom): Karen Broad with members of the Avanti West Coast Gender Network; Karen Broad with her Avanti West Coast colleagues who have helped to create menopause guidance; Karen Broad chatting with colleagues