BLACK Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has signed up to a national menopause pledge to demonstrate solidarity with staff affected by its symptoms.

The Trust, which is the lead provider for mental health, learning disability and autism services across the Black Country, has signed up to the Menopause Workplace Pledge.

The pledge is run by national health charity Wellbeing Of Women and is a demonstration of commitment from employers to take positive action to make sure everyone going through the menopause is supported.

It comes as around 900,000 people have quit their jobs because of menopause, according to figures from Wellbeing Of Women.

Women experiencing menopause can experience symptoms such as fatigue, anxiety, brain fog, hot flushes and irregular bleeding.

If women do not have support at work, they can experience a loss of confidence, decreased productivity and lower job satisfaction. Ultimately, it can lead to women leaving the workforce, draining organisations of key talent and experience.

With women over the age of 50 the fastest growing demographic in the UK workforce, it has never been more vital for employers to take action.

As a major employer of women in the Black Country boroughs of Dudley, Sandwell, Wolverhampton and Walsall, it is vital that staff affected by menopause are given the support to deal with their symptoms in the workplace.

Ashi Williams, Chief People Officer at Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I am so pleased that the Trust is signing this pledge, particularly given the majority of our workforce are women.

“The menopause and perimenopause touches the lives of all women, their partners, families and carers. We want to support women who are experiencing menopause and equip our managers with the knowledge, skills and resources to support their staff.

“By removing the taboo we hope to make our workplace a much more open, inclusive and supportive place to work.”

The Trust has already put in place measures to support staff with menopause such as training 15 Menopause Champions to be on hand to provide support and a listening ear for staff members affected by menopause.

Additionally, the Trust ran a series of evidence-based webinars to provide expert advice to staff on navigating this period of life and to help dispel myths surrounding the issue.

Alison Geeson, Non-Executive Director at the Trust, said: “For far too long menopause has been a taboo subject, often surrounded by stigma and shame.

“Here at Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, we want to make a difference for women in the workplace.

“It’s okay to talk menopause. If our people feel supported at work it can improve happiness, health and wellbeing. We want to listen to our staff and show that we care about supporting staff experiencing menopause. We are taking action today and signing up to the Menopause Workplace Pledge.”

The Trust has joined the likes of the BBC, Civil Service and Cabinet Office in signing up to the pledge.