Investment management organisation Standard Life Aberdeen has been accredited as the UK’s first endometriosis friendly employer, committing to provide support for employees experiencing the condition.
The new accreditation scheme, launched by national charity Endometriosis UK in June 2019, offers guidance to employers on how to support staff diagnosed with endometriosis. As part of the endometriosis friendly employer accreditation process, organisations must commit to provide relevant support for employees experiencing endometriosis, ensuring that these individuals can thrive at work.
The employer pledge requires organisations to focus on areas such as leadership and management support, tackling stigma and culture change, and building communications to raise awareness of endometriosis and the available aid.
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Endometriosis is a long-term chronic pain condition where cells similar to the ones found in the lining of the womb are found elsewhere in the body. Associated symptoms include significant pain or needing more frequent access to the toilet because of bowel or bladder-related factors.
Standard Life Aberdeen, which employs more than 6,000 staff across 52 global operating sites, was formally accredited by Endometriosis UK on 28 June 2019.
Committing to be an endometriosis friendly employer aligns with the organisation’s goal of contributing to an inclusive future and creating a workplace for everyone as workforces become more diverse.
Susie Logan (pictured), brand and marketing director at Standard Life, said: “Endometriosis impacts every single aspect of sufferers lives, including work. This is why it is so important that employers commit to better support for their staff, not only for those with endometriosis, but all invisible illnesses. It simply cannot be the case that these illnesses, which impact more people than many of us know, are ignored.
“Signing up to the endometriosis friendly employer scheme is something we are incredibly proud to do. We have already taken a number of steps to satisfy the criteria outlined by Endometriosis UK to support our [staff] with endometriosis and are committed to doing more. Ultimately, it’s about getting comfortable with the uncomfortable and we can work together to achieve that.”
Emma Cox, chief executive officer at Endometriosis UK, added: “Endometriosis should not be a taboo subject, and we want organisations to adopt an open culture when it comes to talking about female health. Every employer should be comfortable in talking about endometriosis with their staff and, in turn, help employees feel supported in talking about their experience.”