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West Ham becomes first Premier League football club with menopause accreditation

West Ham United has received Menopause Friendly Accreditation (MFA) in recognition of the support it offers to staff experiencing menopause at work.

Beyond the menopause policy its support covers awareness training, workplace adjustments and a dedicated employee assistance programme (EAP).

Speaking to HR magazine, the club’s HR director Michele Gull said: “West Ham United are delighted to receive the Menopause Friendly Accreditation. In order to achieve this, our club successfully demonstrated a wide range of measures to support our workforce, where one in 10 of our female staff is of menopause age.”

The dedicated menopause training includes financial wellbeing training for pensions and menopause.

Gull added: “We also have an internal support group for staff experiencing menopause, alongside strong allyship among male staff.”

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The initiative is part of a wider gender inclusion strategy at the club which has helped it earn the Premier League’s highest standard for equality, diversity and inclusion (known as PLEDIS).

Half of the senior leadership team at the club are female. It also sponsors the Back 2 Businesship coaching programme to help people, predominantly women, return to careers after a break for family or other caring responsibilities.

Vice chairman Karren Brady, famed for appearances on The Apprentice, said the accreditation demonstrates the club's commitment to creating a positive working environment.

She said: “We have a key objective to be an equity leader in the Premier League and a strong commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion across all areas of the club.

“We work hard to ensure there are no barriers to working at West Ham United and our ethos is centered around enabling employees to bring their whole self to work, providing everyone here with the opportunity to reach their full potential.

“As well as helping attract and retain some of the very best female staff, our approach to achieving The Menopause Friendly Accreditation will help to raise awareness within our male workforce and encourage allyship to further support colleagues, friends and family.”

There has been a national campaign in the UK to make sure women experiencing menopause are supported in the workplace as many feel pushed to resign due to a lack of proper adjustments.

In January this year the government rejected calls to add menopause to the list of protected characteristics in the Equality Act which would have given those experiencing it more protection against discrimination on that basis. 

Many employers have instead taken their own initiative to support menopause at work.