Legal firm Burness Paull has become the first accredited ‘Menopause Friendly’ employer in Scotland – and the first law firm in the UK to achieve the status.
The accolade was awarded after an assessment carried out by an independent panel including Kathy Abernethy, past chair of The British Menopause Society, and Paul Sesay, founder and CEO of the Inclusive Top 50 UK Employers, National Diversity Awards, Excellence in Diversity Awards and The Diversity Group.
To attain ‘Menopause Friendly’ accreditation, an employer must prove it has an understanding of how menopause can affect employees at work, put in place the right support and resources to help, and be committed to the wellbeing of colleagues.
For Edinburgh-based Burness Paull, this includes a policy framework and a range of training, practical support and resources, including trained ‘Menopause Champions’ within the company.
Sue Fish, the independent panel assessor, said the law firm had fostered “a really inclusive culture where it’s easy and comfortable to talk about menopause”.
Deborah Garlick, director at Henpicked: Menopause in the Workplace, an organisation that helps businesses to implement effective and practical changes to make a difference to those experiencing menopause, said the law firm’s campaign “has broken new ground in best practice, brought to life with inspiration and passion”.
“It’s a fully inclusive campaign, rightly involving everyone. Menopause isn’t just an issue for women, knowledge and understanding of its impact is a life skill for all. In addition, they’ve shared their experience with other employers which will help drive societal mindset change around menopause. We’re truly grateful for all they’ve done, outstanding.''
Emma Smith, the law firm’s inclusion and wellbeing manager, said: “We are a firm where respect and inclusion is at the heart of everything we do and are committed to promoting a workplace culture where everyone can succeed. Taking practical steps to help colleagues experiencing menopause is part of that, and looking at the Menopause Friendly Programme is something we’d encourage other employers to consider.”
Burness Paull was the winner of The Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion ‘Enhancing Wellbeing and Belonging at Work’ award 2021 and is shortlisted as a finalist in the UK Diversity Legal Awards ‘Diversity & Inclusion Initiative of the Year’ – due to be awarded on 30 November.