Laura Ott, owner of Hair Ott salon group, is driving a push for hair businesses to do more to support its female staff facing the effects of the menopause
Image by Coffee Bean from Pixabay
A drive to get more hairdressing businesses to commit to their female team members dealing with symptoms of the menopause is underway, spearheaded by salon owner Laura Ott.
The owner of the Hampshire-based Hair Ott group is encouraging salons and companies working in the hairdressing industry – which is heavily dominated by women workers – to sign the Menopause Workplace Pledge to help create more supportive working environments for those experiencing perimenopause and menopause symptoms.
“We have called it the ‘87 for the 87 per cent’, as our industry is 87 per cent female and our aim is to have at least 87 hairdressing names on the pledge,” explained Laura. “Currently there are only four, including us and the National Hair & Beauty Federation (NHBF).”
“By signing this pledge, companies are showing their team that they are a safe and supportive space, and discussions about symptoms won’t be reduced to joke about hot flushes,” she added.
As menopause symptoms can include serious mental health issues at their most extreme, intervention is needed to ensure the health of the wider industry too, explained Laura.
“Three out of four women experience menopause and perimenopause symptoms, and one out of four experience severe symptoms including suicidal thoughts. These symptoms cause women to reduce hours, pass over promotions and even leave work. As an industry already in a recruitment crisis we can’t afford to lose them.”
Launched in 2021 by UK women’s charity Wellbeing of Women in partnership with Hello! magazine and Bupa, the founding and continual aim of the Menopause Workplace Pledge is to lobby employers to actively support employees who are going through menopause.
Businesses that sign the pledge make a commitment to understanding that menopause is a valid issue in the workplace, where women require further support. Commitment to the cause also means holding positive, open and respectful discussions about the menopause to support and inform those affected by it in the workplace.
So far, more than 2,500 high profile employers, including the BBC, Tesco and Royal Mail, have signed the pledge. It also has the backing of well known figures including Baroness Karren Brady and Carol Vorderman as well as MPs Caroline Nokes and Carolyn Harris.
Click here for more information about the Pledge