We know that women are still fighting to be equal in the workplace and raising the subject of periods may feel like we’re putting a spotlight on the fact that we’re different. But we are. That’s a fact and it’s time to address it. Business leaders need to remember that being different doesn’t make us inferior. Being different is what diversity is all about and it is diverse teams that perform better.
So, let us imagine a world where we had to remember to bring our own toilet roll to work, or risk being caught short? Unimaginable, isn’t it.
A world where we, as adults, would be forced to awkwardly ask our colleague if they have a spare roll in their bag; or make excuses to leave the office and shuffle uncomfortably to the nearest shop to buy the provisions needed. Well, this is the reality for women at work, because unlike toilet paper, the bathrooms at work do not come with period products as standard. Unless of course, you work for a very progressive company, like Google!
The reality is, that whilst male employees will enter a bathroom at work and find it fully catered for, allowing them to perform their natural bodily functions, it’s a totally different story for women who experience periods, that regularly arrive unexpectedly, and when they are at work.
And why should businesses care? Because ultimately the consequences lead to lost productivity!
No matter how well women plan, periods arrive when biology determines, and their unpredictability means there is always a risk of being caught short and faced with the consequences, whether it’s missing an important meeting to run to the shop, ducking out of the office to get some supplies or feeling uncomfortable and enduring an embarrassing mishap. Enough with the imbalance already!
That’s why at Mondays we’re calling for employers to provide women with period products in the workplace and to make this part of their diversity strategy.
We need advocates to speak up and make firm business cases to leadership. You can become the champion at your business fighting to plug #thetoiletgap. We will support you with a product pack for your workplace bathroom, a feedback form (to be filled in by other women using the bathroom in your workplace) and an information sheet on the what and why of period products at work for the decision makers!
Be the driver of positive change and show your employees you care, starting in the bathroom.