HSBC UK, first direct and M&S Bank join Endometriosis Friendly Employer scheme
HSBC UK, first direct and M&S Bank are the latest employers to pledge to support colleagues living with a common and often debilitating disease by joining the Endometriosis Friendly Employer scheme. The charity Endometriosis UK, which is currently marking Endometriosis Action Month (March 2022) says that by developing policies and nurturing a culture that is supportive to those with the gynaecological disease, companies can create “a more engaged workforce and more effective staff”.
New research by Endometriosis UK shows that most younger women would feel concerned about disclosing menstrual ill health at work. The poll also shows that while many Brits have become more open to discussing health at work during the Covid-19 pandemic - but Endometriosis UK fears that this benefit may not be felt by those with the disease, given the taboo around menstrual health.
HSBC UK, first direct and M&S Bank have all committed to becoming Endometriosis Friendly Employers. Since it was launched in 2019, the Endometriosis Friendly Employer scheme has been joined by over 80 public, private and non-profit organisations of all sizes. These employers commit to developing a work environment and culture that enable employees with endometriosis to thrive at work.
Cheryl Bosi, Head of Human Resources, HSBC UK, said: "Endometriosis is not just a women’s issue – it affects women and their families, and often at key stages of their careers. We've built a thriving community leading awareness and education about women’s health and wellbeing across HSBC UK, underpinned by supportive policies and actions.
“Last year we were proud to be the first Menopause Friendly accredited employer in the UK,1 and we are happy to now be working with Endometriosis UK to help break the taboo about the disease. Helping all our colleagues better understand and feel comfortable talking about the health issues that can impact their lives and those around them is the right thing to do – for our people, and our business.”
Emma Cox, CEO, Endometriosis UK, said: “I’m delighted to welcome HSBC UK, first direct and M&S Bank to the diverse range of organisations tackling taboos around menstrual health and endometriosis through the Endometriosis Friendly Employer scheme. By showing their employees they are valued and can expect support and reasonable adjustments to help those with endometriosis and menstrual conditions succeed at work, such companies are likely to have a more engaged workforce and more effective staff.
“It’s great that more of us are happy to discuss health and wellbeing at work having lived through the challenges that Covid-19 brought. But I worry that those with endometriosis might not benefit from these changes due to the long-standing stigma around periods and menstrual health. Companies tackling that taboo are taking a great step forward for their staff, organisation, and society.”