In our second interview for International Women’s Day, we chat to Laura Todd, managing consultant, who leads a Capita Wellness Programme.

What inspired you to start the Wellbeing Programme?

My background is within the health and social care sector. I started my career working with central and local government, co-designing services alongside amazing people who suffer from mental health issues. I’ve previously suffered from depression myself and I know many people who have also suffered. There is still such a stigma around mental illness, with many people not seeking help and suffering alone. From my experience, both professionally and personally, I have become very passionate about making a difference, creating awareness and ensuring employees can focus on their wellbeing.

The nature of the business that I work in, is one in which we support clients through change and transformation programmes. Our employees work alongside clients – often on client sites – working in varied, challenging and different environments. To remain a relevant, modern and efficient business, we need to provide a workplace that is inclusive, inspiring and supportive. A happy, motivated workforce is one that is more likely to achieve and perform well.

What is the Wellbeing Programme?

The objective of the programme is to shift to a more proactive approach to supporting our employees and focus on awareness and preventative initiatives, for both physical and mental wellbeing.

We started with 20 of our consultants attending mental health first aid training.  It’s now led to the creation of a network of wellbeing champions across Capita Transformation. It’s been a resounding success with champions communicating regularly, providing personal stories and tips from eating healthily, regular exercise, mindfulness, personal resilience and ways to manage wellbeing effectively. For any additional support, we have an employee assistance programme, which offers free counselling and support.

This year, I’m excited to be partnering with MIND, a national charity supporting people with mental health, to benchmark our initiatives against MIND’s Wellbeing Index 2017/18. The results from the Index analysis will help us shape our wellbeing plans and activities through 2018 and beyond.

Over the last 12 months there has been a visible change within Capita Transformation in the approach to wellbeing.  Our leadership team has been fully committed to supporting and championing the programme and I am very proud to have been a part of this cultural shift, breaking down the stigma around mental health in the workplace.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

It’s important to highlight this day. It’s a triumph to see how far women have come. In Capita Transformation, we all support each other in the workplace, mentors and advocates for equal rights. It’s not about separating the sexes. It’s about equality for all. 

International Women’s Day is an important opportunity to showcase the strides both men and women have made in making the workplace a fair place for all. Equally important is the platform it gives us as a society to recognise that there is still a long way to go for gender equality to become a reality. My hope as a leader is that, going forward, women have the same opportunities as men to fulfil their potential.

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