In our previous article, we’ve already talked about how having a period can affect the woman in the workplace and whether she decides to work with her body or not, can determine her level of productivity and wellness. How though, can this affect others in the workplace? Many surveys have shown that there is not enough positive support from fellow co-workers when it comes to menstrual health and by not educating the co-workers, they will not understand and will never enjoy the benefits that can come when supporting a woman who menstruates.
As of current, there is still a common attitude of keeping our periods a secret. Unfortunately, this is a very “taboo” conversation to have in the workplace. From a woman’s standpoint, it becomes difficult to voice what she needs to properly care for herself to perform better in a work environment. For coworkers and colleagues, the level of conversational discomfort almost becomes an unreasonable distraction.
Lack of positive conversation surrounding menstrual health also leads to negativity amongst colleagues in the workplace. For example, a survey showed that 74% of menstruators felt the need to hide their sanitary products. This stems from a view that somehow having a period is “unclean” and embarrassing.
Overcoming the negative stigma behind menstrual can be a long process. It is essentially re-training the mind to think completely differently than what it has for a person’s entire life! However, it can be done! Creating a more open work environment, without even using words, is a good first step. This can be done by ensuring there are proper facilities available for women.
Office managers can ensure supplies of tampons/pads, menstrual cups or disposable panties are made available in office bathrooms. Proper vaginal wash products made accessible in the office can also provide a very sensitive and supportive environment.
Another step for companies to consider, to overcoming menstrual topic’s negative stigma is perhaps partnering with a menstrual focus company to share your support as a business towards your female employees. For example, The Scarlet Company which provides a 100% natural tonic. Scarlet 100% natural tonic not only helps women with overall wellness, it also boosts energy, focus, and productivity, great benefits for work. Providing accessibility to these product services openly for women employees can also help cultivate the increasing need for gender equality within the workplace.
One other great way to overcome period secrecy, is engaging period awareness education sessions. Yes, an awareness session on how to handle a coworker’s period! Much like other health and wellness issues that are often addressed in the workplace, an open attitude educational session can be fun and encouraging for management and staff. Sessions can be done from outside speakers, or, a recent US-based project has created a board game to get colleagues discussing and understanding the menstrual cycle better.
Companies that have started menstrual awareness have already shown positive and exciting progress among colleagues! The women in the workplace feel more comfortable, confident and less irritable in their surroundings and they get to perform better at work with better communication without moods and irrational thoughts. When their coworkers fully understand why, they will be happier as days go by much smoother, when they see women during the time of month at their best. One male worker stated that he didn’t fully understand how hormones affect women. However, with new initiatives taken at his workplace, he is now more informed and able to be more sympathetic.
This education that is taking place in regards to menstrual health in the workplace is having a real positive effect on companies. It starts to create a sort of one-ness that unites everyone together. In turn, being united is great for positive environment, productivity, and all around good morale. Yes, menstrual health affects everyone in the workplace in one way or another. Now is the time to take the steps for it to affect you positively!