Posted on: 08 March 2018
Ping pong tables, beer on tap and soundproofed ‘sleep pods’ are just some of the perks companies provide for their staff, but how many cater for the most essential needs of their female employees? To coincide with this year’s International Women’s Day, we’ve unveiled our Period Manifesto, encouraging workplaces to provide free pads and tampons for their employees.
Societal taboos and stigma have meant that the menstrual needs of women have so far been overlooked in public spaces. But it’s 2018, and period products should be regarded as an essential and budgeted for accordingly – after all, we’re not expected to carry around our own toilet paper, or buy it from vending machines.
This International Women’s Day, let’s start with the workplace.
There is strict legislation requiring employers to provide female staff and customers with a ‘discreet and hygienic place to dispose of feminine hygiene waste’, and yet there is nothing to ensure provision of the products themselves.
Encouragingly, progressive companies like Google and Spotify are beginning to take women’s needs into account. This small step sends a big message: employers can demonstrate their commitment to true inclusion and equality in their workplace by addressing the needs of their staff in this practical way. Tampon smuggling has to stop!
So we’re offering corporate bulk subscriptions delivered monthly, ensuring that they can be incorporated seamlessly into office bathrooms. In honour of International Women’s Day, we’ll send a free month’s supply to workplaces that sign up this month. And what’s more, a Freda subscription can fulfil corporate social responsibility commitments as a portion of our profits goes directly to initiatives tackling period poverty.
We’re focussing on period care provision at work as part of our Period Manifesto, which aims to combat the widespread stigma and misinformation around menstruation with a series of practical steps towards ultimately normalising periods.
Each point of our Manifesto contains actionable advice around education, conversation and, crucially, access:
Period products are an essential not a luxury
Periods are a sign of health
Periods are normal, not shameful
Periods are private, not secret
Ingredient transparency should be a given for such an intimate product
Period products should be sustainable and responsible
At Freda, we see improved access in the workplace as a step towards achieving these goals. Once periods are seen as a matter of fact – a natural, normal and healthy process – inclusion of period products everywhere will become a no-brainer. And we can’t wait!