Menopause – a topic long brushed under the carpet, at home as much at workplaces – is slowly nudging its way onto India Inc’s radar as companies realise the importance of supporting women employees through this difficult life stage and reducing the risk of them dropping out of the workforce.

Organisations including HSBC India, IBM, HUL, Standard Chartered Bank, NatWest Group and Intuit are trying to normalise menopause through a raft of initiatives: from raising awareness; enhancing medical coverage to cover menopause and providing access to doctors/ menopause specialists and mental health support, leaves and flexible work policies to help women employees navigate this stressful time.

“For many women, menopause transition occurs between the ages of 45-55 and coincides with the point at which they could take up senior leadership roles. Those experiencing menopause are less likely to apply for a promotion or take on additional responsibilities or in extreme cases, even drop out of the workforce – making menopause an important life stage to support our colleagues through,” said Shivshanker SV, India and South Asia Head, Human Resources, Standard Chartered Bank.

The bank organises internal events, running campaigns, people leader toolkits, conversation guides and counselling support to allow women to open up about their experience and ask for support; they have also expanded medical cover for treatment of menopause-related symptoms.

According to studies, the average Indian woman experiences menopause at around 46.2 years, nearly five years earlier than their Western counterparts, triggering a variety of mental and physical changes that can affect productivity and quality of life.


“We understand that menopause will have a direct or indirect impact on everyone at some point. We want all colleagues to feel understood and supported, as well as equipped to support others who are going through menopause. Hence, it is important for us to normalise menopause,” said Archana Chadha, Head of Human Resources, HSBC India.

Besides medical coverage and dedicated health sessions, HSBC India offers 24/7 unlimited access to doctor consultation for employees and their families for the support they need to manage this transition.

HUL has assimilated its initiatives on menopause within the larger umbrella of equitable policies.

“At HUL, our equitable policy approach ensures that we support our employees across all life stages. Our flexible work options, group medical insurance, and unlimited sick leaves cater to all diverse needs, including that of women going through menopause,” said Anuradha Razdan, Executive Director, HR, HUL

Awareness key

“As a progressive and diverse organisation, we don’t want to lose women employees during this life stage. The solution is in normalising menopause and talking about it at the workplace, driving awareness around it,” said Prachi Rastogi, Diversity & Inclusion Leader, IBM Asia Pacific. In the last year, they have organised nearly 15-16 awareness sessions around menopause; going forward, they want to start a series on menopause at work, featuring employees who want to share their stories.

At NatWest Group India, employees can access JAAQ at Work, a wellbeing platform, or the ‘Peppy’ application, which offers support for colleagues and their partners at any stage of menopause.

Intuit’s specialised support platform, Maven, facilitates connections with in-app communities to promote sensitivity and understanding among employees regarding menopause. It also provides 24/7 virtual access to menopause specialists, which includes dedicated mental health support.

“By creating a supportive environment for women during this transitional phase, companies not only promote inclusivity and support, but also demonstrate a commitment to equality and well-being. This can lead to the retention of talent, promotion of gender diversity in leadership positions, and overall improvement in organisational performance,” said Jharna Thammaiah, Director & India site People & Places Leader, Intuit.

Early days still

Prawal Kalita,Managing Director Mercer Marsh Benefits – India Leader, says that in India, (as in other parts of the world), addressing menopause in the workplace is still an emerging concept.

“Some forward-thinking organisations are starting to recognise its importance. However, a significant portion of companies haven’t implemented specific initiatives for menopause,” said Kalita.

Benefits around menopause are crucial for several reasons: retaining experienced women; improved productivity and well-being and driving positive employer branding that helps attract and retain female talent, he said.


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