One of India’s largest food-delivery firms, Zomato, recently announced its new paid period leave policy for women and transgender people. Women comprise 35 percent of Zomato’s 4,000 strong employee workforce and with such an announcement, the organization conveyed that they understood the different biological realities of men and women.
While introducing ten days period leave in a year for all the women employees, CEO Deepinder Goyal also addressed the male employees. “Our female colleagues expressing that they are on their period leave shouldn’t be uncomfortable for us. This is a part of life, and while we don’t fully understand what women go through, we need to trust them when they say they need to rest this out. I know that menstrual cramps are very painful for a lot of women – and we have to support them through it if we want to build a truly collaborative culture at Zomato.”
In a bid to bring about equality, Zomato brought about a 26-week universal paid maternity leave for both – women and men last year.
However, there are other Indian brands too, which are on a mission to normalize women’s bodies in the workplace.
In 2017, the digital media company Culture Machine, which has offices in five cities in India, placed a menstrual leave policy independent of vacation and sick days.
What is more incredible is their brainwave to capture the reactions of their employees when announcing this decision. You can check out the video below!
Horses Stable, FlyMyBiz, Gozoop are among other Indian companies that have been providing its female workers the first day off of their menstrual cycle.
Soothe Healthcare, makers of Paree Sanitary Pads, gives the option of availing a paid day off every month to its women employees. The women employees can either take the day off for factory and sales staff or opt for work from home for corporate employees making the work more conducive.
Talk about purpose inbuilt in an organization’s day-to-day business!
Interestingly, the State of Bihar has had two extra days of period leave each month for its government employees for “biological reasons” aka periods since 1992. In Australia, the Victorian Women’s Trust, an advocacy group, offers employees paid days off for painful periods. Women in Japan have been granted period leave since 1947.
In other parts of the world, right from Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Zambia, menstrual leave policies have emerged more on a company-by-company basis. Coexist, based in the United Kingdom, allows employees who opt into its period policy to take time off, work from home, or alter their working hours during their periods.
But are period leaves that important? Yes. Period.
Dysmenorrhea or period-related pain is prevalent worldwide. Menstrual cycle symptoms include pelvic and lower back pain, headaches, fatigue, and mood swings. Fluctuation in hormonal levels often affects school and workplace performance and can grow worse with age.
The real impact of menstruation on women and society is underestimated. According to this research, it was found that in workplaces and schools, period pain can lead to nine lost days of productivity a year.
PSA: 1.8 billion people around the world menstruate. For millions, stigma, taboo, and a lack of access to sanitary products stop them from participating in work, school, and daily life during their periods.
Read about The Menstrual Health Hub (MH Hub). This global organization establishes strategic partnerships to fortify the menstrual health ecosystem and promote collaborative, systemic impact on female health.
Find out how much time you could miss out! Play with this interactive to know: https://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2018/10/health/period-poverty-calcuator-asequals-intl/
We sure have to go a long way to normalize human bodies in the workplace, but we now know the organizations to look up to in our quest for the same!