It has taken many centuries for women to come out of all the clutches of social taboos of women going outside the house, let alone women going to work. She has fought a lot to be where she is today in the society. Still, not backed by any significant reason, the number of working women is less compared to men with almost every employer in the world. But, for those womenfolk who are working, the workplace should be a place as much a place as a home, so that they feel comfortable even when they have the worst of mood swings and cramps. Women are extremely strong and competent, but periods can affect them significantly because of the biological reasons. Creating a period-friendly work environment for ladies is an integral part of a company’s functioning. This also helps in retaining/attracting women workforce.
There are ways of creating a “feel at home” experience for women at work environment. A few of them are highlighted here.
Hygiene- Clean restrooms: Women feel it is highly necessary to keep themselves clean and hygienic even if they are working long hours equal to men. Especially, menstruation needs to be taken care well to avoid infection. A clean toilet is of monumental importance for women. It is something that can’t be compromised with.
Availability of sanitary napkins: Making sanitary pads or tampons available in the bathrooms can help a great deal when women get unexpected periods and are not prepared for one. In many developed countries like the U.S, there are vending machines that give tampons and sanitary pads when a coin is inserted. This would save a lot of tension for women in the workplace and would ensure that work is not hindered by unexpected absence of the workers due to periods.
More female candidates in a team: A woman would have to talk about her problems to others. This relieves her off her tension a bit. If there are more female workers in team, this will make sure the woman discusses any health problems with her female colleagues than she would with the male colleagues.
Medical attention: A few billion dollar companies have a full-time doctor with them, whereas most others don’t. If not a full-time doctor, the company should be in touch with a doctor who is reachable when there medical emergencies. Even keeping a first aid kit for pain relief, some analgesics, would be helpful for a female employee if she has menstrual cramps at her workplace.
Minimized Workload: A woman can’t often mention her problems to higher official if he is a male. The male bosses should be able to understand and give a lesser workload or a “work-from-home” option to women on request.
A good understanding of menstruation and its effect on women from male colleagues can make women feel even more comfortable at workplace.Above all, the social taboos of menstruation should be dismissed sooner or later by the society to make everyone feel at ease about one of the most natural processes of our evolution.