Menopause app launched at University of Sheffield to give staff better personalised support
The University of Sheffield is the first university to make a personalised menopause support app available to all staff.
More than 350 staff members have signed up to the support service delivered through the Peppy app which provides access to expert menopause practitioners and advice for staff experiencing or affected by the menopause.
The University aims to ensure all staff get the same opportunities to flourish; regardless of age, time-of-life changes, gender, or family circumstance
The University of Sheffield has become the first higher education organisation in the UK to launch a specialist personalised app to support its staff experiencing or affected by the menopause.
An estimated 13 million women in the UK are peri- or post-menopausal, with most of these experiencing the symptoms of menopause during their working life. Although a natural part of the aging process, it is often seen as a taboo subject - preventing many people from getting the support they need.
The University of Sheffield’s ambition is to create a menopause friendly workplace, destigmatising the topic and levelling the playing field for women experiencing menopause. To do this, the University has given free access for all staff and their partners to Peppy, an innovative app-based service that provides access to expert menopause practitioners, providing a mechanism for practical as well as emotional and mental health support.
Professor Katherine Linehan, Chair of the University’s Gender Equality Committee, said: “Around half of our workforce will experience menopause in their lifetime and symptoms can have a detrimental impact at work and at home.
“Unfortunately, this has rarely been spoken about in the workplace and could mean that many colleagues who experience menopause symptoms, which could include women, non-binary, intersex and transgender people, may not have been getting the help they need when they are having symptoms.
“We hope this is another important step in our efforts to eliminate the gender pay gap, improve staff wellbeing and make a significant difference to the experiences of our whole University community.”
Around 46 per cent of female staff at the University are between the age of 40 and 60. Almost 300 staff members signed up for the Peppy Health app in the first four weeks after its launch.
Mridula Pore, CEO and Co-founder of Peppy, said: “We are proud to have partnered with the University of Sheffield, the very first university in the UK to offer specialist menopause support to all their employees with Peppy. The education sector is one of the largest employers of women of menopausal age – offering this support shows that the University of Sheffield is a dynamic employer, committed to the wellbeing of its staff and the diversity of its workforce.”
Linda Greaves, is one of the staff members at the University of Sheffield that downloaded Peppy Health, she said: "I downloaded the app some weeks ago now and have spoken with the Peppy team on several occasions who have all been incredibly helpful and reassuring. They provided me with a report of my one-to-one session for me to take to my GP, and this has definitely played a massive part in getting me the help I need.
“Knowing there is someone to talk to who is able to provide help and advice and even just an ear, no matter how trivial my questions, has been such a relief. Knowing I am receiving expert help and advice is not only of huge benefit to me, but to my family and friends.”
Sonia Rizzo, a staff member also using Peppy added: “I have also taken advantage of the professionals who are on hand to answer any questions, I can send a message on Peppy and get a response within a few hours, sometimes sooner. They are incredibly knowledgeable and encouraging, really friendly and kind.”
“Having access to the Peppy app has reassured me that my employer is invested in supporting everyone affected by the menopause, which in turn will give people the confidence to start a conversation about how it's affecting them at work. I'm lucky that I have a great line manager and I can be open with her when I'm struggling with symptoms. I see Peppy as another support system.”
Ian Wright, Director of Human Resources added: “A key part of the University’s vision is our commitment to create an inclusive, supportive and collaborative working environment where colleagues feel able to be themselves and have access to what they need in order to succeed and flourish whilst at work.
“To build on this, as part of our work to progress gender equality, it is important this includes support for menopause in the workplace. Our whole approach is to improve the lived experience of all our colleagues, and we see our partnership with Peppy to provide specialist menopause support as a step on this journey."