Period positivity. You might wonder ‘what is there to be positive about?’ Right?! Either you’re in the half of the population dealing with painful periods, nausea, cramps and bleeding, or you’re in the other half of the population that doesn’t want to know about it! Wherever you sit, periods happen. They’re not going anywhere and it’s time people who menstruate got the support they deserve.
A recent study showed 1 in 3 women living with endometriosis and period pain had been passed over for a promotion, and 1 in 6 had either lost their job due to difficulties managing crippling symptoms in the workplace. This is not good enough and something needs change.
There’s been murmurs by advocates about introducing paid Menstrual leave for people who period when they’re struggling with menstrual issues. In theory it sounds great, but can you imagine the cost to organisations if this was mandated? Could that also open the flood gates (pun intended) for other health issues to be given special leave. For example, if they have diabetes, heart disease, cancer…do they get their own leave separate to their personal/sick leave?! What about those that don’t have special medical needs, are they compensated? It’s an absolute can of worms!
So, what’s the answer?
Periods can be mighty uncomfortable, yet those suffering often just tend to ‘soldier on’ for fear of being labelled weak, or even worse being suspected of ‘faking it!’ This mentality that period pain ‘isn’t real pain’ needs to stop. Endometriosis is as common as diabetes yet doesn’t have anywhere near the exposure or understanding.
To quote a recent white paper from the University of Western Sydney ‘What’s the bloody big deal'
‘Many women face barriers in the workplace due to the stigma they encounter when discussing their periods and the changes they need to work and manage their symptoms effectively. The changes might be as simple as working with a heat pack on their abdomen to manage their pain, improving access to sanitary bins or allowing employees greater access to toilet breaks. These challenges can be particularly pronounced for women with endometriosis or other menstrual disorders….. this white paper presents compelling evidence that changes are needed to ensure Australian girls, women and people who menstruate can participate fully in education and work.’
Taking leave for menstrual issues is already taboo. Many people who period either struggle through their day with decreased productivity or need to take the day/week off (and don't feel comfortable enough to tell their employer why!) Taking the day off not only impacts an employer but can really work against an employee when a promotion opportunity comes around! Sad but true!
But don’t worry, there’s a better way to help support those struggling with period and endometriosis symptoms during the workday…
How can we help?
Imagine a perfect utopia where period supplies in bathrooms were as commonplace as toilet paper. If an employee was struggling with cramps, upset tummy, or god forbid a surprise period they would be confident in knowing everything they needed was available right at their fingertips. If you’ve ever had to skulk around the office asking for a tampon or pack your undies with toilet paper until you could get to the shops, then you know how invaluable this would be!
Jnine & co has all the kit to make a workday with Aunt Flo and more comfortable experience. We can deliver the Workplace Period Toolbox to workplaces every single month, which not only gives employees piece of mind, but employers a wellbeing initiative that will actually get used - every month! With everything from tampons, heat packs and wipes to help people who period manage their symptoms, rather than go home when they're not feeling well or just not turn up at all.
Show your employees you care, and that sometimes having your period or suffering from endometriosis IS a bloody big deal! And if your employer doesn’t have what you need available in the loos, feel free to share the positivity and let them know what we’re all about!
To find out more information on how to spread period positivity in the workplace (and provide helpful solutions) check out our store today.
Join the positivity posse!
Jnine & co x