With World Menopause Day taking place on October 18, 2023, Amiqus Business Manager sat down with Dovetail Games’ VP of People Lindsey Shorricks to talk about the studio’s approach to supporting women’s health…
Dovetail Games launched a Menopause Awareness Programme last year. How did that come about, and why?
The team were already working on a policy when I joined which was great. But for me it was really important to be more than just a policy, a more holistic approach to ensure that menopause was really understood and the support was genuine. It’s so important to ensure that our people are aware of the many issues which affect people in everyday life and menopause is just one of those.
We implemented the policy but we also ran training sessions for line managers, awareness sessions for all our people and created support networks for those going through it or know people who are impacted by it. We continue to share these tools, training sessions and support networks with our people.
How important is it for all staff to be understanding of issues related to the menopause?
It is extremely important as menopause affects 50% of our population at some point in their lives and therefore everybody will know of someone who will be affected by it, whether that be at work supporting team members or colleagues, be it at home with relatives or relations, be it partners or friends. It’s important to ensure that everyone is understanding of the impact of this on those who go through it and what support and help is available to them.
What support does Dovetail have in place for those who are going through the menopause?
We have the policy mentioned above but more importantly we have trained our managers and leaders in this area so they can truly understand and be aware of the impact on some of those individuals going through it. We haven’t made this a taboo subject which people are afraid to talk about; we are open about our support channels and ensure everyone feels they can talk to anyone in the people team, their line manager or one of our mental health first aiders about it.
The support network has been great for people to talk to others going through it, to express their feelings and concerns and to be reassured and supported by others. The policy ensures that individuals feel they can ask for the support they need, whether it be time off, adjustments to ways of working or something more. The support needed for each person will be different and we therefore will ensure we tailor the support they need appropriately.
What support does Dovetail have in place regarding other women’s health issues?
We have a group of Diversity and Inclusion champions we work with from the business to ensure that we are getting all views and perspectives on initiatives and support programmes we roll out. This ensures real true representation and not just being led from the People Team. We can have honest discussions and debates about raising awareness and support for different issues.
One of the areas we have representation for on this group is the angle of female health and in particular being a working parent. We have a real honest and flexible approach to work which empowers women to make the right choices for them in terms of where they do their best work and at what times. Wider policies and benefits such as our family leave policy, explorer policy, half day paydays, health cash plans, PMI for certain roles and career break options support women dealing with a variety of personal issues.
What advice would you give to any other studio looking to put a similar support programme in place?
To be open and transparent about why you are doing it and to ensure it isn’t a tick box exercise. The danger is saying ‘We have a policy in place’ and thinking that’s it done. It goes a lot deeper than that and ensuring that the support really is in place for those individuals when they need it. Opening up communications and awareness of these issues and subjects makes having conversations about them much easier. Ensuring line managers and leaders are equipped to have the conversations and people knowing this will open up the opportunities for honest conversations.