Manchester-based Lightbulb Leadership Solutions has launched its ground-breaking Menopause Maze ™ programme to assist companies to improve how they handle this time of transition to retain their female talent.
Throughout menopause awareness month in October, it has become more apparent that this transition can have a huge effect on a woman’s mental and physical health, opportunities, and career choices. With over 1 in 6 women in the workplace falling into the over 50+ age category and making up the fastest-growing demographic in the workplace, this presents a huge challenge for employers.
New statistics are showing that the lack of workplace support and development during menopause is causing women to take extended periods of time off work, pass on promotion opportunities and even resign.
Lightbulb Managing Director, Fiona McKay, has worked with organisation’s all over the world and has seen this scenario repeated time and again. This is why the Menopause Maze ™ programme was developed. It goes way beyond policies and procedures and gets to the root of the problem, equipping women, their managers and the entire organisations with an evidence-based approach and set of proven tools based on the findings of her research called ‘Why Feedback Holds Women Back’ and the supporting FeedbackFirst ™ formula.
Initially, the FeedbackFirst ™ formula was developed from Fiona McKay’s research to show to organisations the effect of gender-biased feedback in the workplace – how it feeds the gender pay gap, affects women’s opportunities to gain access to equal leadership roles and affects their earning and promotion opportunities.
Lightbulb’s research has shown that 60% of performance analysis contains criticism for men, but this figure increased to a staggering 91% for women. Women are more likely to be assessed on their personality rather than their performance and this holds them back at work. During menopause, where symptoms can potentially cause personality changes, it doubles the disadvantage for women.
Fiona commented “My new research shows that women working through menopause get the worst type of feedback that there is, and that’s no feedback at all. This leads to them being overlooked, ignored, and discounted for development and promotion opportunities. Companies need to get a grip on gender-biased feedback now if they want to retain talent, increase engagement, and improve top and bottom-line returns. And, if they are truly committed to workplaces with equal opportunities for men and women, now is the time for action.”
In addition to the Menopause Maze programme, Lightbulb is also launching its Menopause Maze Mentors training, which equips nominated individuals with a greater understanding of how menopause can affect work performance and help women and their managers to understand the importance of ridding the workplace of gender-biased feedback, so that women are not at a disadvantage, can forge ahead with their careers and be further supported in their wellbeing. In addition, they have also launched a Menopause Maze ™ brand standard which enables employers to be flag bearers of Lightbulb’s prestigious certification, showing to staff, new talent, suppliers, and prospects, that they provide a supportive and developmental approach to menopause across the whole of their organisation.
“Companies still have no idea of the effect and disadvantage that gender-biased feedback has on women. Equally, they are missing out on unleashing the tremendous opportunity to retain, attract and develop female talent and by equipping women and their managers with our evidence-based methods they have the tools they need to succeed at speed, change conversations and ultimately improve commercial outcomes for women and their workplaces.”