Boots and M&S back open letter calling on brands to normalise menopause

Thirty-one brands, including Marks & Spencer, Boots and Holland & Barrett, have signed an open letter from GenM – a menopause partner for advertisers – that begs businesses to better understand the needs of the UK’s 15.5 million menopausal women.

The letter, which was published in today’s Guardian, implores advertisers to use their platforms to normalise conversation around the menopause and to review how their policies, products and services can improve the menopause experience.

The awareness push dovetails with the start of World Menopause Awareness Month.

The open letter was written in response to GenM’s Invisibility Report, which found 97% of women believed brands should work harder to cater for the menopause. A further 87% felt overlooked by both companies and society at large.

GenM is described as the first one-stop website for women seeking quick and easy fixes and suggestions for the menopause and peri-menopause.

It was set up by Heather Jackson and Sam Simister, two businesswomen who found the menopause difficult to navigate and suddenly felt invisible to the brands to which they had been loyal throughout their lives.

Simister said: “We are inviting responsible and forward-thinking businesses to join in with us and recognise the role they have to play in improving the menopause experience. Whilst some great changes are happening in spheres such as education and the GP surgery, this is only part of the picture.

“The menopause isn’t simply a workplace issue or an education issue – brands and organisations have an important part to play in this too.

“This is more than a social cause, but also a huge opportunity for companies. Not only are they missing out on money by not catering to this market of 15.5 million consumers with better product signposting, but there is also a huge personnel drain in the workplace due to insufficient understanding of menopause.

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“Women of menopause age are the fastest-growing demographic in the workforce and our research found that 88% of women want more support from their employers during menopause. How much talent is lost due to not being nurtured by employers during this time?” 


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