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Insurance firm Aviva has launched a menopause support app to supplement its awareness training sessions as part of a week of events to encourage greater openness about the impact of the menopause at work.
Insurance firm Aviva has launched a menopause support app and is running a menopause awareness campaign for UK employees in the run-up to World Menopause Day on Sunday.
The app, by Peppy, is available free to all Aviva UK employees and can be accessed through a smartphone. The support includes a free 45-minute one-to-one phone consultation with a menopause specialist. Employees will also have highly accessible, personalised live chat with a menopause expert through the app.
Aviva says the over 45s are the fastest growing employee population by age at Aviva, with the numbers of women experiencing menopause in the workplace increasing.
Bev Rowles, who works for Aviva’s finance department in Norwich, took part in a pilot run by Peppy earlier this year. She said: “I’ve worked at Aviva for some years, I’ve seen many changes but for me, going through the menopause has been a very difficult time. The menopause ‘hit’ me in my fifties, with symptoms that made me feel at times unable to cope with general day-to-day tasks.
“My phone consultation with a Peppy practitioner felt like I was talking to a friend. We talked about my symptoms and medication and next time I spoke to my doctor, I felt empowered. I knew exactly what needed to be changed and why. I really appreciated having the opportunity to speak to someone else about my symptoms and how they were making me feel.”
Aviva has also launched menopause awareness training, aimed at line managers but available for everyone, to better help them support colleagues who may be experiencing menopausal symptoms. So far, over 150 leaders have completed the training, which covers what menopause is, why it’s important to talk about it and advice on how to support.
Danny Harmer, Aviva’s Chief People Officer, said: “We need to break the taboo of menopause. Most people are familiar with the common, and sadly sometimes still ridiculed, physical symptoms of menopause such as hot flushes and night sweats. Less well known are the mental health aspects, including anxiety and difficulty sleeping, which can have a massive impact on performance and self-confidence. So it’s no wonder that one in four women consider leaving work because of menopause – a loss of talent that businesses can prevent.
“Menopause need not be a barrier to a continued successful career. An open and empathetic culture, with proper training available for leaders, access to expert advice for individuals and supportive policies like flexible working, will help us better support our people, their partners and families during every stage of their lives.”