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MIST Workshops Ltd.

Shining light on reproductive issues and childlessness at work. Helping organisations to support affected employees through training, policy implementation and more.

About MIST

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Katy Schnitzler 

Founder and Lead Consultant

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A warm welcome to MIST Workshops!

 

We are a training consultancy dedicated to helping businesses to better support their countless employees affected by reproductive issues, and/or childlessness, at work. We help employers to formally and proactively address these prevalent and significant experiences.

Formally acknowledging reproductive issues and childlessness is imperative to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion within workplaces. Recognition fosters equitable, supportive and healthy work environments for all employees. In turn, improving employee productivity, performance and retention. 

 

MIST Workshops Ltd. was established in 2020 by Katy Schnitzler, a training consultant, academic and specialist in the field of reproductive health and childlessness at work. Consequently, our services are informed by the latest academic research. Specifically, Katy advises on pregnancy loss, infertility and childlessness - helping organisations to better support employees affected by such prevalent, yet often concealed, issues.

Katy is also a highly experienced HE Lecturer, and has presented at academic conferences, winning awards for her research. 

 

Working in world leading research has led Katy to collaborate extensively with various organisations, including The NHS, CIPD, universities, global energy and financial companies, baby loss charities and more. 

"Katy was a guest expert at our CIPD Central London event on miscarriage and child loss for our HR Community. Katy's expertise, empathy, and her ability to engage with the audience made this event really impactful. Katy's depth of knowledge was evident from the outset. Her expertise shone through as she delivered a well-researched, informative, and sensitive presentation. Katy created a safe and supportive environment, allowing attendees to open up and share their own stories and experiences. Katy's willingness to engage with the audience, listen to their questions, and provide thoughtful and considerate answers was excellent. I recommend Katy to any organisation to equip their members with the tools, information, and understanding to support people through experiencing miscarriage and child loss".

Co-Chair, CIPD Central London

"This session was incredibly powerful, and really resonated with me. The work you do with employers, raising awareness and helping them to improve the way they can support their staff is incredibly important – thank you for all that you do”.

Chartered Financial Planner, Plymouth.

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Why should employers formally address reproductive issues and childlessness?

1 in 4

 

Pregnancies end in loss.

85%

Employees affected by reproductive issues and/or childlessness feel triggered by pro-natal practices at work.

1 in 6

 

Couples experience infertility.

1 in 5

 

Women, and 1 in 4 men are childless. The issue also affects significant numbers of LGBTQA+ employees. 

100%

Affected by pregnancy loss and/or infertility believe their workplace should implement policies on the issues.

76%

 

Received insensitive comments upon disclosing their miscarriage /infertility at work.

64%

Of women feared discrimination after disclosing a miscarriage and/or fertility treatment. 

72%

 

Did not contact HR about their miscarriage and/or fertility treatment. 

12%

 

Of affected employees left their organisation due to reproductive issues and/or childlessness.  

Our Services

We help organisations to better support the considerable numbers of employees experiencing reproductive issues, including pregnancy loss, infertility and childlessness. We do this through...

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Training

Through our bespoke workshops, we provide organisation-wide training for all employees, (including managers, HR and teams), on the topics of pregnancy loss, infertility and childlessness.

Our training is informed by the latest research, and includes lived experiences to illuminate the key issues at work. 

 

These informative, yet sensitive, sessions equip organisations with the knowledge, skills and confidence to support the many employees affected. In brief, the workshops cover prevalence, physical and psychological effects, employee rights and entitlements, effective and appropriate return-to-work processes, how to tackle the taboo, the impact of pro-natal cultures, and communication training.

 

Delegates also have the opportunity for a Q&A. 

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External Reproductive First Aiders

 

The symptoms of pregnancy loss and fertility treatment have a significant effect on work, and indeed, pregnancy loss can begin at work. Employees often struggle with a lack of specific support, and managers want to help, but don't know where to turn.

MIST provide outsourced assistance to both affected employees and their line managers on a flexible and individual basis. 

 

We help managers to provide effective and sensitive support to those affected employees. We also coach employees and liaise between them and their line managers to ensure the most appropriate support is available to them. Our external reproductive first aiders foster healthier and happier workplaces, encouraging productivity, engagement and retention. 

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e-Learning

 

We understand that it is not always possible to train all staff members at the same time, therefore we provide training videos through our e-learning packages.

The videos are divided into digestible snippets, and can be watched at your convenience. They can also be revisited as needed.

Our training is informed by the latest research, and includes real case studies to highlight the key issues at work.

 

Our e-learning package contains the same content as our training sessions, with the exception of a Q&A.  

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Occupational Health & Counsellor Mentoring

 

Many companies offer an Employee Assistance Programme for their staff, which often includes access to counselling.

 

Counselling is an invaluable resource for many employees facing a number of difficulties. However, our research demonstrates that many employees affected by reproductive issues feel that generalised counselling does not meet their specific needs.

 

Affected employees commonly state that counsellors should be trained on the unique issues of reproductive health and childlessness. MIST do just that - we train Occupational Health, counsellors and mental health first aiders to enable them to better support employees affected by the issue(s). 

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Policy Implementation

MIST co-create bespoke policies with organisations on the topics of pregnancy loss and fertility treatment. We advise on employee rights and entitlements according to the most current legislative frameworks, and ensure that the policies are sensitively worded, and are inclusive. 

Informed policies in these areas produce a number of benefits, from consistent practice and fairness to reduced staff turnover. Such policies also encourage open conversations on these often concealed topics, facilitating a healthier working environment.

We also recommend how to connect new policy with existing ones (for example, sick leave, parental leave, compassionate leave and bereavement policies). 

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Research

 

We conduct empirical research for organisations to obtain rich employee experiences of current practice.

 

We gather data primarily through interviews, focus groups and surveys, and present the findings through reports and presentations.

 

Research can be beneficial to inform policy, training and other initiatives. When experiences are collated through outsourced research, companies are more likely to obtain accurate insight. 

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Our Clients and Partners... 

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“Katy took us through what most shy away from - a subject which no one wants to talk about, but shining a light on how that feels to the person who's living it. Katy talked practically about how to start that conversation and that's invaluable. I absolutely did not know the shocking numbers who experience miscarriage and childlessness, and have encouraged others to attend Katy's sessions”. 

Women's Network Chair,  Zurich

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