Ann Reus, Feed Strategy senior reporter, covers offbeat animal feed-related news and other topics.
UK-based poultry producer aims to reduce the stigma associated with menopause and support employees who may be affected.
In recent years, many companies have expanded their employee health and wellness initiatives, including opening health clinics near company facilities, providing dental care at work and supporting employees in addressing mental health issues.
And last month, U.K.-based poultry producer Moy Park – which is majority owned by JBS S.A., the world’s seventh largest feed producer – said it has established a steering committee to reduce the stigma associated with menopause and to support employees who may be affected.
A reminder, or for those who may not be familiar: Menopause is when a woman’s period stops due to lower hormone levels that occur usually between the ages of 45 and 55 – sometimes earlier.
According to a press release from Moy Park, the steering team will provide education and support for employees relating to menopause. The program was launched as part of its diversity, equality, inclusion and belonging strategy and will focus on “ways to reduce the stigma associated with menopause to encourage team members to feel more comfortable to discuss symptoms and seek support.”
While Moy Park says its workforce includes “thousands” of female team members, these education and support opportunities are open to everyone, including those experiencing symptoms of menopause as well as others who are looking for ways to support someone close to them.
Symptoms of menopause include changes in mood, anxiety, mood swings, brain fog, difficulty sleeping and headaches – all things that can affect a person’s ability to do their job well.
Menopause symptoms “can have a big impact on your daily life, including relationships, social life, family life and work,” according to the U.K. National Health Service website.
“As a company, we are committed to creating a culture where all our team members experience a sense of belonging when they come to work and feel that their unique needs and perspectives are respected and supported,” said Nicky Taylor, Moy Park’s head of talent and employee experience, in the press release. “Menopause symptoms can be hugely challenging for many women, and we’re delighted to have established this important program of education and support for our people which is already making the difference.”
This is a big deal in a corporate society where women experience gender bias on a regular basis related to their maternal status, age or appearance, just to name a few. It’s also a step forward in the movement to address “taboo” topics such as mental health and women’s health and normalize the conditions and issues that many – if not most – people experience at some point in their lives.
I hope Moy Park’s employees find this initiative useful and that more companies acknowledge the fact that workers in any role, at any pay grade and anywhere along the corporate hierarchy might need more support for some issue at some point in their career.