Aster Group wins industry recognised Menopause Friendly Employer Award

Aster Group has won the award for the Best Support Group at the prestigious industry-recognised Menopause Friendly Employer Awards 2022.

Hosted by Menopause Friendly and powered by HSBC UK, first direct and M&S Bank, the Menopause Friendly Employer Awards, on Thursday September 22, 2022, were presented by broadcaster Louise Minchin and welcomed guest of honour the Rt Hon Caroline Nokes MP, Chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee.

The inaugural industry-recognised Menopause Friendly Employer Awards comprised 10 categories showcasing the commitment and determination of employers and individuals to open conversations, provide support and normalise menopause in the workplace.

The Best Support Group Award was given to the organisation that has created the best community group, ensuring a safe and inclusive environment in which conversations around menopause in the workplace can occur.

The judges on the Menopause Friendly Independent Panel were in agreement in finding the regular people-centred sessions for Aster colleagues to be particularly worthy of praise. The active listening enabled people to set the agenda they desired to allow them to hear and discuss what was important to them. The ‘sofa sessions’ were noted as being ‘incredibly popular’ with members of staff. Not only were there successful face-to-face sessions, but virtual meetings were hosted with special guests on specific subjects. This was a most impressive effort to establish the desired environment.

Rachel Credidio, chief transformation officer at Aster Group, said: “Our teams have worked extremely hard to create a culture where our colleagues feel able to share their personal experiences - directly or indirectly - of the menopause. We’re absolutely thrilled this has been recognised by the Menopause Friendly Employer Awards and we’ll continue to ensure our menopause offer remains a priority in our organisation.”

Shortlisted alongside Aster Group were: Lloyds Banking Group,Alzheimer’s Society, Santander UK, Boots UK & Ireland, Boots Opticians and No7 Beauty Company, The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital and Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA)

“Aster Group should feel immensely proud of what it has achieved in winning this hotly contested award,” says Chris Pitt, CEO of first direct.

“As with nearly all large organisations, it is not easy to facilitate change in the way people respond and approach things. Aster began this process of creating such an open environment, in which people feel comfortable to talk and share their experiences, with 10 people offering practical support; it now stands at over 1,000 people! The whole group has embraced this philosophy; a belief which started within the workforce has inspired leaders to become actively involved. Aster richly deserves the plaudits it has received in creating such support within its workplace.”

Other sponsors of the Menopause Friendly Employer Awards are BAE Systems, Santander, Lloyds Banking Group, Boots, Peppy, Bristol Myers Squibb, Celerity, Theramex and Vitabiotics.

Thanks to their generosity, the not-for-profit Awards will be donating £75,000 to three deserving causes - Wellbeing of Women and The Daisy Network charities and the University of Bournemouth – to further their excellent work and research into menopause, autism and neurodiversity.

The 10 Categories and the winners are:

Category 1 – Menopause Friendly Employer of the Year

Bristol Myers Squibb

Category 2 – Most Open Workplace

Thames Valley Police

Category 3 – Best Engagement Campaign

Boots UK & Ireland, Boots Opticians and No 7 Beauty Company

Category 4 – Most Menopause Friendly Environment

HSBC UK including first direct and M&S Bank

Category 5 – Best Trained Workforce

Bristol Myers Squibb

Category 6 – Best Training Initiative

Leicestershire County Council

Category 7 – Best Support Group

Aster Group

Category 8 – Most Supportive Partner

Santander UK

Category 9 – Community Award

Mandy Baughurst - Leicestershire County Council

Category 10 – The Carolyn Lazurus Award

Theresa Winters - Santander UK

To see the full list of winners and finalists visit:

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