Channel 4 has launched what it says is the first dedicated menopause policy from a UK media company to coincide with World Menopause Day, which is today (18 October).
The policy provides guidance to colleagues and line managers to help them provide support to women experiencing the menopause.
Channel 4 cited research showing that less than 5% of UK businesses currently offer a dedicated menopause policy, despite 59% of women in the workplace who experience menopausal symptoms saying this had a negative impact on their work. For a quarter of women, those symptoms are debilitating.
The policy will offer women access to flexible working arrangements, paid leave if feeling unwell, a private cool and quiet space, an assessment to ensure the working environment does not worsen symptoms, and various support and guidance resources.
The broadcaster said it aimed to end the stigma around the menopause by encouraging a better understanding of it among employees and facilitating a more open work environment. Its HR team now has a dedicated menopause champion and support is offered through mental health employee network 4Mind and gender equality staff network 4Women, which is behind the policy.
Alex Mahon, chief executive of Channel 4, said: "This is Channel 4 living its remit, normalising a taboo subject by making it more visible, and we hope that 4Women’s fantastic work will inspire more in the industry to support women in their workplaces transitioning through the menopause."
Jane English, co-chair of 4Women and 4creative business director, added: "Too many women suffer in silence due to the stigma around the menopause. We wanted to open up the conversation at Channel 4 and, in doing so, prompt the media industry to also start talking more about how they can better support women transitioning through it."