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17 Oct 2023
by Rahul Ramaswami

Rahul Ramaswami of Standard Chartered on supporting the female leadership talent pipeline

The Head of Benefits at Standard Chartered explains how supporting women during the menopause can also boost the female talent pipeline

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We undertook a large-scale survey with the Financial Services Skills Commission to understand the impact of the menopause on the UK financial services industry. It was clear that the culture of silence around the menopause and the lack of support in the workplace was holding women back from progressing and contributing to the sector’s growing skills gap. 

Organisations have a key role to play in supporting and retaining women between the ages of 45 and 55, who are typically affected by the menopause and often also are in (or in the pipeline to) senior leadership roles. 

Acting on the initial research, we introduced greater education and communication to dismantle the wall of silence around the menopause. More recently, we have taken a stand to introduce comprehensive menopause cover within the organisation globally. This will allow colleagues to be effectively triaged, get specialist advice and consultation on the menopause, and access a range of treatment options available through our medical plans. 

While we are working to standardise the level of cover we provide, we recognise that some markets may be at different levels of maturity and that it may take some time before we see a standardised level of assessment and recommended care. The process of identifying where gaps exist, where we can find solutions and how we can make the experience better for our colleagues is continuous – and something that we remain committed to for the long haul. 

It’s about constantly looking ahead and seeing what more we can do to better understand the lived experiences of our colleagues and then taking action to support them with inclusive offerings that help maintain our position as an employer of choice.