Global Executive Search firm Gillespie Manners launch menstruation and menopause policy in a bid to reduce stigmas, encourage self-advocacy and boost work/life balance for employees.

It’s estimated that symptoms of menstruation are linked to nearly 9 days of productivity lost each year through presenteeism, the act of turning up to work without being productive. Menstrual and menopause policies aim to reduce stigmas, encourage open communication and autonomy in decisions around health and productivity at work.

Gillespie Manners Director of Operations, Claire Routley says – “Recruitment is an industry notorious for long hours and perseverance. It’s by no means an easy career, which is why employee wellbeing, motivation and work/life balance are so important. Our firm consults global businesses every day on the importance of attracting and retaining high caliber talent in niche industries – that’s why I believe it’s our duty to lead by example by implementing emerging wellbeing measures in-house. Over half our employees (53%) have experienced menstruation and/or menopause, and according to Yougov, for 57% of them it will have a negative impact on their work at some point.”

The recently launched menstruation and menopause policy encourages people experiencing symptoms of menstruation or menopause to initiate open dialogues with colleagues and managers. The policy provides guidance for managers on reasonable adjustments in the workplace, which include the option to work from a quiet area of the building, the provision of adequate breaks, proper ventilation and flexibility for remote working or additional paid leave if required. The policy is supported by an information pack supplied to all employees with resources to help them learn more about female hormone cycles and training sessions held to educate and inform on the practical applications and benefits of the policy.

Earlier this year, International Women’s Day was marked with the theme #Breakthebias. The website call to action asked us to “Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.” Menstrual and menopause policies are a step in the direction towards breaking the bias. As many as 57% of women have said that menstruation pains have affected their ability to work, yet only 27% of women whose performance has been affected by period pain have ever admitted the cause to their employer. 31% gave their employer another reason, while 33% said nothing at all.

Menstruation and menopause policies encourage open discissions about health and wellbeing in the workplace. Lizzy Kurtzer manages a team of 9 and is leading this initiative at Gillespie Manners. She says “It’s my hope that this new policy will contribute towards a culture of openness in our workplace. The last thing we want is for our employees to feel they need to make up excuses, or ignore issues altogether. There shouldn’t be a stigma attached to listening to your body and making autonomous decisions around when, where and how you work when experiencing adverse symptoms of menstruation or menopause. You shouldn’t have to feel any guilt or shame, and you shouldn’t have to mark yourself off as sick for something that is not a sickness.”



Gillespie Manners is a global Executive Search firm that provides consultative resourcing support to supply chain, logistics, manufacturing and retail technology companies across the UK, EMEA, US and APAC.