The Wall Street banking giant Citigroup has introduced miscarriage and menopause leave for its UK staff, in the latest sign of an escalating battle to retain female staff in the male-dominated City of London.
The world's largest credit card issuer has overhauled its policies so that staff who lose a pregnancy at any stage can now take paid leave, while those going through menopause can work flexibly or take a sabbatical.
The changes at Citigroup - the only Wall Street bank run by a woman - come as the banking sector tries to fight off accusations that it has an overly macho culture and is failing to promote enough women to senior positions.
Scottish banker Jane Fraser, the bank's boss, became the most powerful British woman in global business after taking on the role last September.
Estimates suggest over 13m women in the UK are either menopausal or perimenopausal, with a study last week finding that around one in eight women quit their job because of menopause symptoms. Around one in four women in the UK also experience a miscarriage.
British companies such as Monzo began offering pregnancy loss leave earlier this year, but boards are now turning their attention to the impact menopause can have on workers. Last week Timpson became the first UK company to pay for menopause prescriptions, while earlier this month Asos said those going through menopause could take paid leave.
This year Monzo, Clifford Chance, John Lewis, Channel 4, NatWest and LADbible have all introduced new pregnancy loss, egg freezing or IVF treatment policies to help staff who want to become parents.
The wave of new parenthood policies reflects a wider shift in attitude. Earlier this year Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s prime minister, signed into law a policy that means women who lose a pregnancy are entitled to three days of paid leave.
The Duchess of Sussex last year discussed her miscarriage and argued that despite the “staggering commonality of this pain” the subject of miscarriage remained taboo.