Fed member and the chair of Cambridgeshire Women’s Network has revealed how ‘delighted’ she is that the Force has been awarded the Menopause-Friendly Accreditation (MFA).
The accreditation, which was awarded to Cambridgeshire constabulary earlier this year – alongside Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, as part of their tri-force collaboration – has only been given to five police forces nationally and highlights their ongoing commitment to promoting awareness, understanding and supporting of the menopause.
Chief inspector Kate Firman, who is also part of the National Menopause Action Group says that she hopes the accreditation will not only attract women to policing roles but encourage staff retention.
“When I experienced menopause, my mum and sister were very open about speaking about the impact it has but I know now everyone has that kind of support network around them,” said Kate, who has been in the Force for 27 years.
“For me, going through the menopause meant night sweats, insomnia, forgetfulness and anxiety – it really impacted my job. I am extremely proud that we have attained this accreditation, it’s fantastic – I’m delighted.
“It reflects the work we have been doing to raise menopause awareness and support colleagues through the menopause in Cambridgeshire.
“I hope that having this accreditation will make life easier for all those experiencing menopause.”
To achieve accreditation, employers must demonstrate six key areas, including culture, policies and practices, training, engagement, facilities and evaluation.
Kate explained that volunteers from across the Force have trained as ‘menopause champions’ to provide compassionate, confidential advice to those who need it.
“The accreditation also means we can display the ‘menopause-friendly’ logo across our literature, website, social media channels and email signatures, which I hope will demonstrate our commitment to supporting those who are experiencing menopause,” she said.
“I hope that not only will this attract new officers to the job but also ensure we retain staff too. I’ve heard far too often that women are leaving their roles due to the menopausal symptoms they are experiencing – and this isn’t right.”
Kate said that the accreditation gets reviewed every two years and confirms that the Force will continue to develop and improve the support available to those experiencing menopause.
She continued: “We’ve recently introduced a menopause journal, which gives people who are experiencing the menopause a place to record how they are feeling that day as well as their symptoms.
“It’s important that the work doesn’t stop just because we have received this accreditation. It’s about ongoing and growing support for those experiencing menopause, those with loved ones experiencing menopause and also line managers who need to be made more aware of potential symptoms and how they could impact team members.