Let’s face it: If you are a working woman, chances are you usually try to hide your monthly discomfort and tough it out because you don’t want to be considered unreliable or even excluded from potential promotions.
Well, this Bristol-based company decided to take a different approach to the situation and allow their female employees to take time off when they are experiencing pain caused by their period.
The company Coexist has 24 women and 7 men in their staff and has just implemented a Period Policy, allowing women to go home when they have their monthly period. This new internal regulation allows female employees to take time off when they are in pain, provided that they will compensate for the lost days.
Bex Baxter, the director of Coexist, explains that this policy will allow women to take care of themselves during their natural body cycle. While this approach has stirred quite a few debates on social media lately, gynaecologist and professor Gedis Grudzinskas believes that the company’s decision is a sensible one.
According to Grudzinskas, it is a positive sign that this issue is being brought forward and that action is being taken to accommodate women when they are experiencing discomfort.
The professor highlights the fact that there are certain gynecological conditions, like endometriosis, which are caused by menstruation and which definitely require a sick leave.
This condition results from the endometrial tissue appearing outside the womb and is often associated with pelvic pain. Specialists estimate that around 10% of women of reproductive age suffer from this condition.
Furthermore, we have the menstruation itself, which comes with painful symptoms also. This is called dysmenorrhea, and it is typically associated with abdominal cramps and is sometimes accompanied by back pain or even nausea.
It is estimated that between 20-90% of women of reproductive age experience this kind of pain.
Although this initiative might seem controversial for some, it is worth mentioning the fact that some East Asian countries implemented such a policy a long time ago. In China, Indonesia, Korea and Japan female workers are officially entitled to time off when they are experiencing dysmenorrhea.
According to Fiona Leishman, who works at the health charity organization Wellbeing of Women, there needs to be a greater awareness around this issue. While some women are lucky and don’t have to experience many of the period-related symptoms, for others it can be extremely difficult to conduct their work activity during those days or to function normally.
Now that the taboo has been broken, it will be interesting to see how many more organizations will follow and create a health-conscious environment for their female workers or if this will simply remain a controversial initiative in an increasingly competitive job market.
Image Source: Newsflow24