The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has launched a new menopause hub to support members of the veterinary professions affected by menopause. Part of BVA’s Good Veterinary Workplaces initiative, the hub will provide a range of resources and tailored support and also aims to help boost retention in the workforce.
Evidence given to the Women and Equalities parliamentary committee by BUPA last year suggested that 900,000 women may have left the UK workforce in recent years as a result of menopausal symptoms. With the veterinary profession increasingly female in composition it is hoped that the hub will support more women to stay in the profession and therefore retain their vital skills in the workforce.
New statistics from the Voice of the Veterinary Profession Spring 2023 survey show that only 14% of vets are aware of a menopause policy at their workplace, while 46% say there is no policy and 39% are unsure. The survey also revealed that only 59% of vets would feel confident supporting a colleague experiencing menopause.
The new menopause hub provides veterinary specific menopause content to support everyone working in practice including colleagues, managers and partners of people experiencing menopause. BVA recently signed the Menopause Workplace Pledge – committing to take positive action to make sure everyone experiencing menopause is supported – and is now urging other veterinary employers to do the same.
British Veterinary Association Junior Vice President Anna Judson, said: “We know that menopause is of growing importance to our profession, with female vets now making up more than half the workforce, and we know that issues with managing menopause symptoms prompt a significant number of women to move away from clinical work.
“As part of our Good Veterinary Workplaces campaign we’re committed to supporting all veterinary staff affected by menopause, allowing them to remain in post, and to providing relevant resources to improve employer engagement in this area. We urge all veterinary workplaces to sign the pledge and consider what more they could be doing to support their staff in managing menopause symptoms in the workplace.”
BVA members experiencing menopause can also now benefit from additional support as they are eligible for 3 months free access to the Stella app, which includes a personalised plan to manage your specific symptoms, real-life coach support, menopause resources, progress tracking, and a supportive community. Content on the Stella app is created in collaboration with a range of clinicians and healthcare professionals and goes through a rigorous fact-checking and review process.
The BVA menopause hub will be available online from 18 July 2023 at https://www.bva.co.uk/menopause-hub offering regularly updated veterinary specific content, training, and information around menopause, plus signposting to existing material.
The issue of menopause will also be covered in a panel session as part of BVA Congress at London Vet Show in November. Chaired by BVA Junior Vice President Anna Judson, the panel includes Liz Barton, Judy Scrine, Dr. Beverley Taylor and Alex Taylor, who will discuss the impact of the menopause on the profession and showcase solutions-focused ways veterinary teams can support colleagues.