time to discuss menstrual health in the workplace

Most women who are employed currently menstruate. Why aren't we discussing this?

Most women who are employed currently menstruate. Why aren't we discussing this?

Surprisingly, a survey revealed that 32% of men consider it inappropriate to bring up menstruation in the workplace.

The findings of DPG revealed that the majority (74%) of women think it's important to conceal sanitary products while in a work setting, and more than half (60%) said they would feel awkward trying to talk about their period with coworkers or bosses. It appears that there is a widespread stigma attached to menstruation, as indicated by research showing people may have negative perceptions of women carrying tampons and view them in less favorable terms such as incompetent or unlikable. It's necessary to end the stigma surrounding menstruation and for employers to take steps toward acknowledging it in their workplace.

what impacts are periods having on the health and wellbeing of your people?

Approximately 80% of females have menstrual cramps at some point in their lives, and for 5-10%, the discomfort is so intense that it can interfere with normal activities. PMS is a common condition affecting up to 75% of menstruating individuals, producing an array of symptoms that can significantly affect one's feelings and emotions. Reformulation: People who identify as transgender men and those with non-binary gender identities can experience menstruation, not just those who outwardly appear to be women.

other factors that can influence the menstrual cycle

Around 10% of women have very painful menstrual cramps and abnormally heavy periods. One out of every ten females have a disruption to their normal menstrual cycle, causing them to miss or have fewer periods. About 8% of women experience ovarian cysts that necessitate medical treatment.

It is common for up to 30% of individuals to experience uterine polyps at some point in their lives. These growths can cause irregular periods and possibly diminish a person's ability to conceive.

time off is a real issue for businesses

Menstruation is not just an issue that affects the health and well-being of employees, it has a profound impact on businesses in multiple ways - from short-term sick days to long-term absences, impacting employee morale as well as overall productivity.

In the last 6 months, around one in four female employees have had to take time off work due to their menstrual cycle. However, more than a third of these women conceal the true purpose for missing work out of fear or shame. Periods and their accompanying effects can have a negative influence on functioning in the workplace. In one study, it was discovered that 80% of women experienced a decline in productivity for about 23 days annually due to their menstrual symptoms.

To foster a more diverse and inclusive workplace environment, companies should take steps to openly discuss menstruation in the office. This could include providing resources such as period tracking apps or offering menstrual products for free at work bathrooms. In addition, businesses can also create policies that accommodate employees with periods by allowing flexible scheduling when needed due to health issues related to their cycles. It is understandable that women are more likely to prefer working for an organization with a period-friendly policy in place. It's not only men avoiding the subject of menstruation. Rather than speaking openly about menstruation, euphemisms, and covert expressions (e.g., “time of the month") are commonly used, along with an abundance of jokes around the topic.

Consequently, employees experience feelings of humiliation and embarrassment, often unwilling or unable to speak up. This can cause a deterioration in workplace interactions and faith, resulting in decreased involvement. Studies have demonstrated that businesses tend to be more successful when women fill 33% or more of executive roles, yet a large number are still having difficulty reaching their desired goals in terms of gender diversity. Organizations must take steps to create an environment in the workplace that acknowledges and respects menstruation, making sure female employees feel acknowledged and appreciated. This will contribute towards creating a work setting wherein women are comfortable working.

steps to take for organizations

Organizations that are looking to the future should start by reducing the taboo of menstruation before introducing a 'period policy' such as providing paid days off and an allowance for sanitary products. Will workers take advantage of 'period leave' if they are reluctant to discuss their menstrual cramps with their supervisor? Most likely, the answer is no. The initial action to address menstruation is to initiate dialogue. Encourage staff to become knowledgeable about menstruation and the possible medical issues that may arise by providing instruction sessions, presentations during lunchbreaks and resources to make discussion of this topic more commonplace.

Organizations can have a major impact by implementing straightforward, effective modifications. This could consist of giving out menstrual supplies in restrooms without any expense, making effective pain relief available and - if feasible - providing the option to work remotely for those who are facing difficulty with period-related problems without having to explain further. Progressive companies should provide specialized support for female health problems as part of their advantages for staff. This should be open to everyone in the company, no matter their role or pay grade, and provided to ensure it is used as much as possible. Digital health applications are an evident decision, joining representatives to female wellbeing specialists and furnishing them with admittance to a library of assets for unknown down to earth and passionate help whenever they require it.

Significantly, businesses must guarantee that their communications related to menstruation are all-encompassing and include trans men as well as nonbinary individuals.

footer image