Menstruation is a natural bodily function that approximately 1.8 billion people experience as a part of their life. Of this figure, 500 million lack access to menstrual products, which undeniably affects the overall quality of their lives.
The inability to afford menstrual products needed to maintain basic hygiene is referred to as period poverty, and it has become a glaring societal concern. Thankfully, movements advocating for menstrual equity are rapidly gaining momentum over the last couple of years, pushing organizations to provide free menstrual products in the workspace.
So, should your business consider providing free menstrual products?
The short answer is YES. Providing free menstrual products in your office restrooms has the following benefits:
1. Makes Menstruators Feel Safe in the Workplace
All menstruators deserve safe access to period products when using them. By providing free menstrual products like pads and tampons in both women and all-gender restrooms, businesses can help enforce their commitment to their employees’ health and well-being.
I believe all women in schools and office spaces should have access to high-quality, organic period products. Thank you for designing a product that is safe and keeps women’s health at the forefront of your mission.WeWork Community Member
We’ve learned that privacy and concealment help to create safety. As a result, we ensure that all-gender, single-stall restrooms are stocked with products like thin, concealable pads to establish a safe space for people with periods.
Small and simple changes like these can have a vast and lasting impact when offering free menstrual products, contributing to a more inclusive workplace!
2. Improves Work Efficiency
Menstruation is a natural bodily function that we can’t control. Sometimes, it comes unexpectedly, and menstruators are caught off guard without a pad or tampon on hand.
According to a survey conducted by Free the Tampons, 86% of menstruators have started their periods unexpectedly in public without the supplies they need. The study reports that, as a result, 79% were forced to use toilet paper or other materials as a makeshift pad.
The same study discovered that 62% of menstruators went to a store to purchase supplies, while 34% immediately went home to get period products. While taking time off to take care of one’s period is obviously valid, it takes away from the company’s overall employee efficiency.
The solution to this is clear – offering free menstrual products in office restrooms is a necessity for organizations of all sizes. When you provide necessities for your employees, including period supplies, they feel safe enough to continue working through the day, knowing their needs are supported.
3. Promotes a Progressive Working Environment
Your employees are crucial to business success, and when organizations try to meet their employees’ needs, both performance and productivity are amplified. It also gives coworkers a good reason to advocate for their workplace, boosting your company’s reputation and credibility within the industry.
The current job search environment is a candidate-controlled landscape where ideal candidates are an invaluable find. In demonstrating your business’ dedication to creating a progressive and inclusive company culture by providing free menstrual products, you have higher chances of scoring top talent.
Many employers have adopted new-age employee benefits to adjust to the current state of work. Perks commonly offered nowadays are flexible work hours, unlimited vacation time, pet insurance, mental health support and free menstrual products in office restrooms.
When companies invest in their employees, it shows the prospective talent that they care about the happiness and well-being of their workforce. And when you can attract and retain valuable talents, you can effectively drive your business forward.
I love that the company that I work for cares about my flow, supporting woman-owned companies, and saving the environment. When Viacom introduced Aunt Flow products in our bathrooms, I felt good that I have the opportunity to work for a business that cares so much.Viacom Employee
What Can Employers Do?
Stocking free menstrual products in office restrooms is just one of the many things you can do as an employer! For example, policies that support reasonable adjustments to working arrangements, such as a menstrual leave policy or flexible hours, are a great way to offer employees the chance to take it easy on their period.
Normalizing conversations around periods is also a task that employers must take on. With increased awareness and acceptance, employees are able to show up to work without the stress of getting their period unexpectedly. Menstrual health must therefore be included in the company’s diversity and inclusion strategy to ensure no team member gets left behind🤝.