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Celebrating International Women’s Day – Niki Haggerty-James

Niki Haggerty-James has had a successful career in Financial Services and now works with Health & Her, a company that champions support for women who experience peri-menopause and the menopause.

Peri menopause can start as early as 30 onwards and can play a major factor in preventing women from progressing in their careers.

Ahead of International Women’s Day, we spoke to Niki to discuss her role and what the day means to her.

My name is Niki Haggerty-James, I’m a Business Development Manager for Health & Her. My role is to help businesses to support employees impacted by menopause in the workplace.

For me IWD is crucial in influencing future generations to recognise they can achieve whatever aspirations they have. Breaking through the glass ceiling that was always above us in the past can only improve diversity and creativity in the workplace.

We asked Niki if she had a female role model, and if so why does she look up to them? She said:

This one is easy for me, it’s my wife. Fiona has excelled in the male dominated environment that is policing. She has worked on the front line for her whole career. To date she is the only female sergeant on the territorial support team in her force. This year she achieved a lifetime achievement award for her accomplishments during her service. She retires on 31st March.

During her career, Niki has seen some changes towards attitudes to women she said:

Before joining Health & Her I had a 32 year career at a high Street bank. During that time, more and more family friendly policies evolved and the implementation of flexible working policies really supported women to have equal opportunities to exceed and grow in their careers.

Likewise this supported other colleagues to have the support so all binaries were treated more equally.

However, there is still more to be done to improve on gender equality, particularly in the work place.

It would be remiss of me not to mention menopause in the workplace and the impact this has on women. The gender pay gap is widest for women over 50, the impact of women going part time or leaving work has a huge impact on pension pay gaps and importantly retaining this diverse experience at a time of huge skills shortages is crucial to any business’ people strategy.

Lack of confidence can hinder women applying for promotion and future generations need role models to inspire them. The fact that 1 million women have left the workplace and this has cost the economy £1.88bn in GDP is a stark reminder that businesses need to take action and do more.

Thanks to Niki for sharing your thoughts with us!