Of course, this all forms part of the wider issue of gender equality in business. Period stigma often leads to silence around menstruation that can cause people to feel embarrassed and unsupported. In some cases, people with periods have left their jobs or even been dismissed owing to a menstrual or reproductive health problem. In developing countries, many women who menstruate miss what amounts to months of school or work each year because they don’t have access to affordable menstrual health care.
Small, simple changes can have a huge impact, contributing to a more inclusive workplace. In a nationwide pilot scheme, free period products are now offered across Scotland for low-income women – the first national government-sponsored effort of its kind. Empowering people who menstruate in the workplace means taking it upon ourselves to make reproductive and menstrual health part of our wider diversity and inclusion strategies, as well as having clear support systems and wellbeing policies in place.