Menopause at Work: A Hot Topic – Top Considerations for Uniform Procurement
For many years, the menopause has been viewed as a private matter and one which is often overlooked by employers, who have failed to recognise the special consideration often required by menopausal women. The TUC’s ‘Supporting Working Women through the menopause’ publication documents that there are currently 3.5 million women over the age of 50 working in the UK, and this will rise as the age of retirement for women increases also. Menopause and its implications in the workplace are therefore issues that are wise not to ignore and Tailored Image, we keep these front of mind in our approach to uniform design and manufacture.
Uniform and Menopause
Over three quarters of women cite noticeable changes as a result of the menopause and hot flushes are the most commonly reported symptom. These can range in severity with some women having only occasional hot flushes while other experience little reprieve from them. Those involved in uniform procurement should have these issues front of mind when ordering staff workwear, particularly in a workforce where there is a prevalence of women of a menopausal age.
In its 2019 report ‘Menopause at work, a guide for professionals’, the CIPD noted in the importance of uniform considerations in dealing with menopausal women. It urges employers to avoid both tangible and intangible barriers for women during this period of their life and asks simply, ‘could the constrictions of a uniform or dress code exacerbate menopausal symptoms?’ At Tailored Image, we recognise that indeed they could and that is why we are investigating every potential avenue to alleviating the additional stress this life changing event can bring.
Here are some of our top tips for how to accommodate menopausal women when choosing uniform solutions.
Women for who a uniform is compulsory can often face less choice in the type of clothing they wear when having hot flushes or sweating. An important consideration in overcoming this particular barrier is to offer a layering approach and a choice of lightweight fabrics to accommodate self-regulation when a woman feels a hot flush approaching. These can be teamed up with heavier over garments for colder seasons and/or for other members of staff, ensuring an approach to uniform provision which can cater for individual needs across an organisation.
As well as choosing lightweight fabrics, customised additions to garments are possible including mesh inserts and the addition of stretch panels to improve ventilation in garments and add a significant cooling effect. Tailored Image’s experienced technical advisors can help select suitable fabrics and our micro manufacturing department can easily amend stock items to achieve the desired result for your staff.
Often an overlooked component is the importance of aesthetic of garments for menopausal women. At a stage in their lives when confidence can become an issue, it is important to offer a range of clothing in which a woman can feel good about herself, despite her changing lifestyle. Don’t underestimate the importance of helping a woman feel self-confident at a time like this.
Emerging Fabric Options
In the wake of a society more receptive to the needs of menopausal women, much research is being carried out. Tailored Image’s Technical Department has worked closely with a number of clients in researching the use of bamboo products and, more recently, Cocona – particles derived from coconut and volcanic ash which combine with polymers to form fabrics with natural qualities. Coconut is renowned for its natural cooling capabilities and volcanic ash regulates body temperature, and the combination of both is a sign of progress towards more natural solutions in the quest for comfort for menopausal women. Keep an open mind about new fabric options and work with a flexible uniform partner like Tailored Image who will work with you to provide the best solutions on the market.
Be a part of the change
Menopause for working woman is an important topic, but don’t just play lip service it. Recognising it as an occupational health issue is the first step in achieving progress, but taking positive action for woman in its grasp is the most important move. Listen to your staff and their concerns and introduce measures to alleviate their discomfort. A trusted uniform partner will always work alongside you and your team to make your life easier. Tailored Image account management and technical staff are on hand to discuss your needs, so if you’re keen to get the wheels in motion for your uniform procurement, we’re ready to talk when you are. Contact Us.