Published date: 08 March 2023

NHS Property Services supports women with pioneering menopause workplace programme

To mark International Women’s Day (IWD ), NHS Property Services (NHSPS) is celebrating women in a once male-dominated industry with a number of initiatives, including a menopause workplace programme, which has been shortlisted for ‘Best Women’s Health Initiative.’

The organisation is also running a clothing drive in partnership with women’s workwear charity Smart Works to help spearhead women’s career paths, and organised the company’s first culture and inclusion event with their recently appointed Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion – Min Rodriguez.

Shortlisted for the ‘Best Women’s Health Initiative’ by the Inside Out Awards, NHSPS’ ‘Let’s Talk Menopause’ campaign is supporting women’s health with a range of initiatives. This  includes a series of expert-led webinars, a Menopause Handbook containing information on signs and symptoms, as well as the identification, support and training of 12 Menopause Champions across the business.  The team has also launched an online Menopause Community for colleagues to chat freely about the issues they face.

Min Rodriguez, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion explained: “Our Menopause Policy empowers managers to implement reasonable adjustments and support their teams, so we can keep and grow our great people. Throughout our campaign, we have been committed to remaining inclusive of anyone experiencing the menopause and we have witnessed a huge cultural shift. Senior leaders are talking openly about their symptoms and encouraging colleagues to seek help if they are struggling. We’ve already seen an increase in managers proactively implementing reasonable adjustments.”

To demonstrate its commitment to supporting women’s career journeys, NHSPS has partnered with women’s workwear charity – Smart Works – to hold a clothing drive at its headquarters in London.

​​​​​​​Smart Works is a charity that aims to give women the confidence they need to reach their full potential, secure employment, and change their lives for the better. They coach clients to help them become the best version of themselves and get their dream job.

Women are referred to Smart Works from Job Centres, mental health charities, women’s refuges, homeless shelters, the prison service, care service and youth organisations across the country. Smart Works have made an impact on the lives of over 25,000 women since opening their doors in 2013.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Cher Roberts, Service Delivery Manager for Digital and Data, who organised the charity event, explained: “We are proud to be working with an organisation that puts women’s needs first. Things like handbags, coats and shoes are things most working women take for granted. However, it is often small things like a new accessory or clothing that make a world of difference to a woman’s confidence and how she perceives herself. We hope that by contributing some great donations to Smart Works this International Women’s Day, we are able to make a difference and help women who are starting out on their career journey feel more confident and succeed in whatever they want to do.”  

NHSPS is holding its first-ever Culture and Inclusion networking event with board members, Jane Hamilton, Chair, Hilary Stables, Chief People Officer and Trish Stephenson, Chief Operating Officer, on the panel.

The senior leaders will be discussing career pathways and key milestones, how they made their journey to being a board member, as well as the challenges they faced to increase representation of women at supervisor, management, and higher-level roles.

Trish comments on the significance of IWD for NHSPS, “Property was once a very male oriented industry but here at NHSPS we are proud to be encouraging inclusivity and diversity across all of our areas of expertise. By marking International Women’s Day and bringing people together to hear lived experience, sharing our knowledge and some of the challenges we have faced in our journeys, we hope to inspire others to and show them that there are many different paths to achieving their own potential.”