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Claire Ginnelly: "PMI menopause support is a massive step forward"

Published: 10/03/2021
Claire Ginnelly, Premier Choice Managing Director, on the important role intermediaries can play in sourcing support for women and starting conversations in the workplace about the menopause. 

Since International Women’s Day (Monday 8 March), our partnership with Peppy has been providing menopause support to Vitality members with a Personal Healthcare, Business Healthcare or Corporate Healthcare plan.

Peppy is an app-based digital health platform that gives users access to one-to-one text chat and phone or video consultations, as well as online webinars and exercise classes, with specialised practitioners able to refer members back to Vitality for treatment where required.

As we explored in our article on menopause and mental health, many employers shy away from talking about the wide-reaching impact that the menopause can have on women, as well as on their families and colleagues around them, despite the fact that as many as 80% experience it while at work1.

"Raising the profile of menopause and talking openly about it within the workplace is very important".

- Claire Ginnelly, Managing Director, Premier Choice

With specialised support becoming available through Vitality through Peppy, we asked Premier Choice managing director Claire Ginnelly to tell us about the conversations she is having with clients about an issue that’s so often avoided by employers, and how health insurance is evolving to pave the way for more meaningful conversations with clients about this subject.
Do you think employers are doing enough to support female employees going through the menopause?
It is an issue for employers but not an emerging issue, however people are now talking about it more and women are understanding more about the different symptoms of the menopause. It has always been a problem for women. For some, it can be very debilitating, and it is important employers realise what employees are going through. Even those women who suffer fewer side effects can be impacted at work.

How many health brokers are actually talking to employers about menopause?
Sadly, the answer is probably very few. It is probably not discussed as much as it should be. When insurers make intermediaries aware of the extra support and the benefits on offer, then advisers ought to talk to their clients about this. I am hopeful we will start to see more conversations.

What challenges do brokers have around this issue when discussing it with employers and how do you overcome them?
I think it is still seen as a taboo subject by many. As a woman in my fifties who suffers quite a lot, I would have no issue talking to a client about it. However, it depends on the client’s mindset as to how it is received. The important thing is for us to keep talking about it.

What more needs to be done to help support employers and employees with regards to the menopause?
Any policies that offer menopause support are a massive step forward. We need to continue to raise the profile of the effects of the menopause and continue to be brave. Some people find it more difficult than others to talk about it, but it comes down to the culture of the organisation. Companies could potentially be losing great talent or not capitalising on the talent they have if they are not creating an environment whereby women feel empowered and comfortable enough to discuss this incredibly important issue.

Check out our Menopause Support page to find out more about Peppy, which of our plans include access to these new benefits and much more.


Where to next?

  • Menopause and mental health

    Considering the majority of women go through the menopause, most of them at work, the time has come for us all to stop avoiding the conversation.

  • Menopause support, in partnership with Peppy

    Vitality Menopause Support is our service dedicated to menopause care and information.

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    Our Insights Hub brings you our range of adviser content - from video series to articles & blogs.