Burness Paull – Spotlight on Wellbeing and Belonging Menopause Initiatives

Burness Paull are an independent Scottish commercial law firm supplying legal services to clients from across a broad range of sectors in Scotland.

They have offices in Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Edinburgh and employ just over 550 people. Burness Paull was created through a merger of Burness LLP and Paull and Williamson LLP, both of whom had been in existence for over 100 years.


According to Diversity Data 2020/2021 from the Law Society of Scotland, the legal sector has become predominantly female. However, gender equality continues to be a significant issue at senior levels. At Burness Paull, 67% of the workforce is female. Consequently, employee health and wellbeing are high on their agenda.

With the awareness that one in four women report experiencing severe symptoms because of the menopause (and six in 10 reporting that it has a negative impact on their work), Burness Paull recognised that several employees would be juggling some fairly severe physical and mental symptoms of menopause alongside the pressures of working in a leading commercial law firm. Employee survey data highlighted a lack of knowledge around the menopause as well as a need for better line manager support.

Innovative actions

Burness Paull took a multifaceted approach to creating, embedding, and sustaining a workplace culture that supported employees through the menopause. This included various activities aimed at encouraging disclosure, breaking down the stigma, and raising awareness of the impact of the menopause at work. Central to this was: improving leadership support, reviewing existing policies, delivering employee and manager awareness raising and training sessions, establishing Menopause Champions, introducing a Menopause at Work Policy, running an HRT masterclass, launching a Menopause Hub on the company intranet, running menopause yoga and wellbeing workshops, and celebrating World Menopause Day.

The project was designed to engage employees of all ages and genders and to open the conversation about menopause as being something that can affect everyone.

Evidence of impact

Burness Paull ran a survey pre and post-implementation of this initiative to gauge attitudes and knowledge, and there was a significant improvement in each aspect. They also gathered qualitative data and testimonials that reinforced these findings.

In the post-project evaluation, the survey found 96% of employees strongly agreed that Burness Paull demonstrated a commitment to raising awareness of the impact of menopause on women at work.

Of those going through menopause, 73% agreed that they felt supported at work. This was a 30% increase from the previous 12 months period.

Carrying on the conversation is critical, and the firm continues to do this through menopause champions, notable dates, and regular awareness raising actions. Menopause is now embedded within their wellbeing culture and woven through their people policies and processes (including induction), ensuring those affected by the menopause can access the right resources and support.

The information contained within this resource was accurate at the time of its publication and subsequent revision. This article was created in 2021 and revised in April 2022.

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