LONDON — Bloom, the professional network for women in communications, has partnered with specialist recruitment agency Major Players to launch a new resource for menopause support in the marketing and communications industry.

The Bloom Menofesto is a tool for businesses to use to create their own menopause policy. The launch comes off the back of new research which shows that although 80% of women will experience symptoms when going through the menopause – with many experiencing them from the age of 40 – only 4% of women who have been through it felt they got any support at work.

The Menofesto includes the case for menopause support and why it is important to destigmatise menopause by talking about it as something that is happening to half of our industry’s workforce; the research findings; menopause glossary of terms; best practise case studies of businesses with strong policies in place, including Ogilvy, Boots, Channel 4 and Diageo; a blueprint menopause support framework for business leaders to adapt for their teams; and a resource list for further guidance.

There are thought to be an estimated 18 million peri- and post-menopausal working women in the UK, with around 80% experiencing any number of 48 physical and psychological symptoms.

The Understanding Menopause survey was conducted in late 2021 by Bloom’s inclusion group, Mpower, which shows that only 45% of people felt they had had the stages of menopause or perimenopause properly explained to them, only 18% who experienced symptoms felt they understood what was happening, and 13% weren’t sure if they were personally experiencing symptoms.

No-one surveyed felt they’d received ‘a great deal’ of support whilst going through the menopause at work, and only 4% felt they got a fair amount. In fact, one in four women said they had such severe symptoms they have left the workforce, and one in 10 feel suicidal during menopause.

Despite the serious impact, the menopause remains a taboo topic, with only 29% of people feeling comfortable with talking to their colleagues about it, falling to 24% if it’s their boss. Encouragingly, however, 67% of people agree that they are comfortable with others talking about it.

Samantha Frankel, chief strategy officer at Bloom UK and founder of Bloom MPower said the Menofesto aimed to demystify and destigmatise the menopause by creating a more open dialogue around the subject at work, and offers a guide to implementing a compassionate, workable policy.

She said: “One of Bloom’s core values is spearheading industry change, and we’re launching The Bloom Menofesto to do exactly that. Two years ago – along with a handful of Bloom women, each with their own discriminatory menopause or age-related story – I set up our inclusion group Bloom Mpower as a space to empower midlife and beyond, and the idea for this Menofesto was born. We’ve come a long way since then, and while the long-overdue conversation around menopause is gathering pace, now it’s time for action.

“Whether you’re a business leader looking to retain your talent and create a supportive working environment, a woman looking to share new ideas with your colleagues on how best they can support you, or are simply interested to learn more, the Bloom Menofesto has been created for you.”

In addition to the Bloom Menofesto, Bloom has launched the Mpower accreditation initiative, where women in communications can nominate their place of work for having a menopause policy in place and implementing it.

The Understanding Menopause survey was  conducted in late 2021 and had 120 respondents from across the media, communications and advertising industry. The sample was 88% female, with 68% aged between 35 and 54.