Hats off to WPP CEO Mark Read for speaking at a WACL event on menopause in the workplace.
The WPP CEO, keen to keep senior women on board, linked concerns around menopause in the workplace to the talent crisis. He said: “The belonging question is an important one – do menopausal women feel that they can have a discussion about [the menopause] in the office? Do they feel people understand them? That’s the way we are navigating it.”
Read spoke about the importance of purpose in business, which has given the CEO “a much longer list of issues to tackle.”
He added: “It used to be that a CEO’s role in business was to maximise profits and everything else was just what someone else had to deal with, but now the workplace is playing a much broader role in people’s lives and you’re expected, as a leader, to be an expert. So when I was asked to do this I said I would, because I knew it would force me to learn something about the topic.”
His role as CEO, he said, was to speak out and, in doing so, make the women at WPP feel comfortable raising menopause issues at work. He said: The biggest difference I can make is to start this conversation that we wouldn’t have seen in the workplace historically, and that has to be a good thing.”
The women on the panel helping to educate Read — and to improve understanding and awareness of the issues facing menopausal women in the workplace — were Caroline Nokes MP, Chair of the Women and Equalities select committee; Melissa Robertson, CEO Dark Horses; and Dr Clare Spencer, co-founder of My Menopause Centre.