This article is about 3 solutions. If you want to know why this will support women to become extraordinary leaders and help your organization grow, then check out my article on Why We Need A Period-Friendly Workplace
And without further due, let’s jump right into it!
#1. Equip every women’s bathroom with a trash bin.
This is no rocket science and probably the easiest thing to implement on this list.
Why is this important?
Women need a comfortable, private and clean place to change their menstrual products during their period.
For this, it is necessary to have a trash bin inside each bathroom. So, if you have e.g. 3 toilets, provide 3 trash bins. Easy, right?
This is so simple, and yet I am surprised how often this is not implemented in restaurants, gyms, public spaces – and yes, office places.
This might also not seem like a big deal for you, but believe me – every woman that is on her period and realizes that there is no trash bin inside the bathroom, knows what I am talking about.
#2: Make organic menstrual supplies available to women for free
Sometimes women are surprised by their period. Surprise!
In fact, a study reports that 86% of American women received their period unexpectedly in public without the supplies they needed . And if this happens, women report feelingpanicked, embarrassed, annoyed and stressed about it.
Moreover, if women are surprised by their period at work this is what they do:
- 62% go to a drugstore to buy supplies,
- 53% ask their coworkers if they have anything on hand,
- and 34% go home for what they need.
Women are utterly grateful if they don’t need to make a huge deal about it. No need to ask around if someone has a pad or a tampon. No need to skip parts of your lunch break. No need to panic or to get angry that you are not properly prepared.
By providing organic menstrual supplies for your female employees, you not only eliminate this associated stress, but this simple gesture could dramatically improve an employee’s ability to do her work.
If it comes to costs, Nancy Kramer, founder and CEO of the 330-person marketing agency Resource and founder of the organization of Free The Tampons, calculated that it costs $4.67 per woman, per year to offer female employees menstrual products. 
#3: Female health and well-being programs:
- Female Health and Well-being Trainings for HR and Managers
- Women-Centric Leadership Coaching (that focuses on integrating the female life cycle)
Let’s not forget that women are only part of the official workforce for a relatively short period of time. And that women’s life is based around the female (life) cycle – whether you realize it or not.
Times are changing, and the challenges we face equally do.
The female cycle has everything to do with health, well-being, focus, productivity, self-confidence, creativity, intuition, communication skills, female leadership and corporate responsibility.
Believe me (after countless workshops, 1o1 coachings and conversations I had…) even though you might think women know exactly what happens throughout their month and how to navigate consciously the change: they don’t.
When a topic like menstruation is a silent taboo, there is an information gap, missed opportunity for growth and you face all sort of challenges as a society.
And men are not excluded here. Sometimes male colleagues are simply not aware how certain behaviors affect others (other female co-workers and the organizational culture). And sometimes they equally lack the knowledge about the female cycle. Here is a funny twitter feed about what grown-up men believe about periods:
A final note on WOMEN EMPOWERMENT:
Fostering an empowering approach to the female cycle at work (and society) is a process.
There are simple things that you can implement right away. But for a sustainable and effective change more courage-based decision are needed.
The ROI of implementing internal policies and corporate programs can go far beyond the initial investment: employees work engagement, happiness, well-being, productivity, empowerment, motivation… And generally, it is a sign of deep appreciation for your female employees and leaders.
Women can benefit a lot from these programs by knowing …
- how they can alleviate pain and pms,
- how to reduce stress related to the menstrual cycle,
- and how they can harness effectively each phase of their cycle for their work, leadership skills and their private life.
I genially believe, that we need a paradigm shift what female leadership actually means in the 21st century.
Putting women occasionally in a male suit is not enough.
Women don’t need to be shamed for their body function, decisions and emotional reality. Women want to be accepted, supported and respected for what they truly are – no matter what time of the month it is.
So, when we speak about empowering women at work, we need to speak about the female cycle as well.
PS: ….psst! Interested in female wellbeing & leadership programs that focus on the integration of the female life cycle, cultivation of unshakeable confidence and building empowerment? Then drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org