Fostering A Period Positive Workplace
In the journey towards creating inclusive and supportive workplaces, addressing the unique challenges faced by employees who menstruate is crucial. Menstruation is a natural and essential part of many people's lives, yet the stigma and discomfort surrounding it can create hurdles in the workplace. It is essential for companies to foster an environment where employees feel heard, understood, and supported during their menstrual cycles. In this blog post, we'll explore the importance of acknowledging and accommodating menstruation at work and discuss practical steps that companies can take to create a more inclusive workplace.
Breaking the Silence
Historically, menstruation has been a taboo subject, often shrouded in silence and stigma. This silence can perpetuate a lack of understanding and empathy in the workplace. Companies should encourage open conversations about menstruation to destigmatize the topic and create an environment where employees feel comfortable discussing their needs. By breaking the silence, organisations can foster a culture of inclusivity, promoting emotional well-being among their workforce.
Flexible Policies and Accommodations
Recognising that every period is completely different, companies should implement flexible policies that accommodate the diverse needs of their employees. Providing options such as flexible work hours, remote work, or the ability to take breaks when necessary can greatly alleviate the physical and emotional challenges associated with menstruation.
At Riley, being a period care company, this was one of the first policies we implemented. It’s so important for employees to feel seen and valued by their employers. These kinds of benefits could make a huge difference to employee attitudes and their overall well-being.
Education and Awareness Programs
Implementing education and awareness programs is key to dispelling myths and fostering a deeper understanding of menstruation. By providing comprehensive information about the biological aspects of menstruation and addressing common misconceptions, companies can contribute to a more empathetic and informed workplace. These programs can also include training for managers and colleagues on how to support their menstruating peers, promoting a culture of mutual respect and understanding.
Accessible Period Products
Ensuring the availability of free period products in workplace bathrooms is a simple yet impactful way for companies to support their menstruating employees. This not only helps eliminate potential embarrassment or discomfort but also sends a clear message that the organisation values the well-being of all its staff members. In addition, companies can consider providing a variety of product options to cater to different preferences and needs.
At Riley, we are proudly partnered with over 170 corporations of all sizes across Ireland, UK and most of Europe. Not only are we working together to make period care as accessible as toilet paper in their office bathrooms, but we’re also opening up the conversation around female health as a whole and encouraging people to speak freely about their periods.
Do you or your employer provide free period care in your office bathrooms? Get in touch with us today and we can chat through all our different options.
Incorporating wellness initiatives that focus on menstrual health can contribute to a more holistic approach to employee well-being. Offering yoga or mindfulness sessions that specifically address the physical and emotional aspects of menstruation can be beneficial. Companies can also consider providing access to counselling services to support employees during challenging times in their menstrual cycles.
Employee Feedback and Inclusivity Committees
Establishing channels for employees to provide feedback on existing policies and suggest improvements is essential. Companies can create inclusivity committees that focus on menstrual health and overall well-being, ensuring that the voices of all employees are heard. By actively involving staff in the decision-making process, organisations can tailor their initiatives to better suit the diverse needs of their workforce.
In creating a workplace that truly values diversity and inclusivity, acknowledging and addressing the challenges faced by menstruating employees is a crucial step. By breaking the silence, implementing flexible policies, educating staff, providing accessible products, and fostering a culture of open communication, companies can demonstrate their commitment to supporting the well-being of all employees. Empowering those who menstruate at work is not only an ethical imperative but also a strategic investment in creating a healthier, happier, and more productive workforce.