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MIST Workshops

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

About MIST

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Founder and Lead Consultant: Katy Schnitzler 

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Katy Schnitzler is a training consultant, academic and specialist in the area of reproduction at work. Katy advises on the issues of pregnancy loss, infertility and childlessness - helping organisations to better support employees affected by such prevalent, yet often concealed issues.

Katy's work with businesses is informed by the most current research, including findings from her own PhD, which Katy is pursuing alongside. Katy successfully secured the prestigious ESRC DTP scholarship to complete this vital research. Katy is also a highly experienced HE Lecturer, and has also presented at academic conferences, winning awards for her research. 

 

Working in world leading research has led Katy to collaborate extensively with various organisations, including baby loss charities, The NHS and UK universities. 

Why should workplaces be aware of reproductive issues?

1 in 4

 

Pregnancies end in loss.

73%

Felt they did not receive adequate support from their workplace after a miscarriage.

1 in 6

 

Couples experience infertility.

1 in 5

 

People are childless - 90% are so not through choice. 

100%

Said their workplace should have policies on pregnancy loss and fertility treatment.

76%

 

Received insensitive comments upon disclosing their miscarriage at work.

64%

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

72%

 

Did not contact HR about their miscarriage. 

12%

 

Of affected employees left their organisation following pregnancy loss. 

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 training workshops, we provide training for all staff (managers, HR and teams) on the topics of pregnancy loss, infertility and childlessness.

Our training is informed by the latest research, and includes real case studies to highlight 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 raise awareness of prevalence, physical and psychological effects, employee rights, effective and appropriate return-to-work plans, how to tackle the taboo, the impact of pro-natal cultures, and our popular 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. MIST do just that - we train Occupational Health, counsellors and mental health first aiders to enable them to better support employees affected by pregnancy loss, infertility and/or childlessness. 

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Policy Writing

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

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 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. 

Our Clients and Partners... 

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"Katy partnered with us at Fertility Matters at Work to provide our members with a workshop focusing on pregnancy and baby loss policy and guidance. What she delivered was informative, sensitive and insightful, combining the stark realities of what it means to go through this experience with practical recommendations for organisations to take away and implement. Katy is authentic and engaging and shares our passion for educating and raising awareness about the struggles to bring home a baby".

HR Manager, London

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