Congratulations on taking the first step to provide free period items for your staff.
Endo Warriors Aotearoa (EWA) is committed to supporting all individuals who menstruate, regardless of gender. Menstruation is a natural biological function and should not be limited to one gender. It is a unique experience that can vary greatly from person to person. By removing gender labels from body parts and functions, we can break down stigmas and make menstruation more approachable for everyone.
At Endo Warriors Aotearoa (EWA), we believe that a positive work environment is key to retaining top talent. Employees are more likely to stay with a company that prioritizes their health and well-being. By implementing measures that cater to employee needs, you create an open and approachable workplace. This, in turn, promotes open feedback and discussion on a variety of issues, not just periods.
In New Zealand, many menstruators struggle to access menstrual products due to the high cost. In fact, a KidsCan survey found that 53.1% of respondents have faced difficulty accessing sanitary items at some point, and 1 in 3 have had to prioritize buying other necessities over menstrual products. This can result in missed school or work days and the use of unsuitable items like rags or old clothes. By providing menstrual products in the workplace, we can eliminate the fear of being unprepared and encourage attendance.
Periods can also be unpredictable, leaving individuals without necessary supplies and fearing leaks. This can cause added stress and lower productivity levels. On average, a menstruator will experience 480 periods and use 12,000 tampons or pads in their lifetime. For those with endometriosis, adenomyosis, fibroids, PMDD, PCOS, perimenopause, and other conditions, periods can last anywhere from 8 to 30+ days and come with added costs like medical expenses and leave without pay.
EWA offers a cost-effective way for businesses to provide free branded menstrual products (single-use pads, tampons, and reusable menstrual cups) to their employees. By doing so, you also donate packs to EWA to distribute to those in need.
Acknowledging and caring for employees who menstruate can have numerous benefits. To create a period-friendly workplace, consider the following:
Provide free menstrual products in the workplace
Offer menstrual leave or flexible work hours during periods
Educate employees on menstrual health and hygiene
Encourage open communication and create a safe space for menstruating individuals
Support organizations like EWA that work to destigmatize and provide resources for menstrual health.
If you want your business to thrive, it's important to establish trust and flexibility with your employees. Making periods your business is a great place to start. By providing menstrual products and supporting organizations like EWA, you show your commitment to creating a period-friendly workplace. You also help to destigmatize menstrual health and create a safe space for menstruating individuals. Remember, people don't leave bad jobs, they leave bad bosses. By prioritizing employee health and well-being, you can retain the best talent and create a positive work environment that fosters growth and success.
What to know more, Send us a message and we’ll get back to you shortly.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How will you determine what our staff need?
To ensure we cater to your employees' specific needs, we will conduct an anonymous survey. This survey will help us determine what your staff requires, such as tampons, pads, or menstrual cups. Based on the survey results, we will propose a cost estimate to you.
Do we need to commit to a subscription service?
No, there is no commitment required. We want this initiative to be as helpful as possible, so re-ordering is entirely up to you. We offer flexibility in terms of delivery, whether it's monthly or three-monthly, and we will provide a set delivery fee for you.
Do we need to publicize our partnership with Endo Warriors Aotearoa?
While we encourage businesses to be proud of their partnership with EWA, we understand if you prefer to take things slow. You can try the initiative on a trial basis, and we will provide you with a staff survey after one month to assess how the initiative is being received. This will help you determine if you want to continue supporting us.
Will the products be taken from the bathroom?
Communication with your staff is crucial to ensure the products are used effectively. We recommend setting up a basket in the bathroom with open packs of period items and another basket with full packs of period items for those who may need them. However, this is entirely up to you.
Does Endo Warriors Aotearoa offer reusable period products such as menstrual cups?
Yes, we do. Menstrual cups can be an excellent alternative or add-on to providing tampons and pads. However, not everyone may feel comfortable using them, so it's essential to provide options. We offer period cups in bulk starting at 20 cups for $8 each, and we aim to bring the cost of period cups down for those who can't afford to buy them at full price.
Does Endo Warriors Aotearoa offer period underwear with this initiative?
Yes, we do. We work with two-period underwear businesses, and we offer your staff a discount code.
How does EWA choose the beneficiaries that receive the buy one gift one product?
We have various baskets set up across Wellington, Lower Hutt, Porirua, and as far as Masterton, to help people access free period items. We also work with local community organizations that help vulnerable populations access period items.
Contribute to managing the stress of your employees
Work can be a major source of stress, and for those who menstruate, periods can add an extra layer of pressure to an already challenging situation. Menstrual-related conditions like endometriosis, adenomyosis, fibroids, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), and perimenopause can exacerbate stress even further.
Stress doesn't just affect our physical and mental health, it can also impact our creativity, innovation, and overall engagement in our work. That's why it's crucial to find ways to manage stress in the workplace. This could include offering yoga and mindfulness classes, providing a quiet space for relaxation, or allowing employees to take short breaks to lie down with a hot water bottle or step outside for fresh air.
One of the best things about these stress-management strategies is that they benefit everyone, not just those who menstruate. However, it's important to implement these measures thoughtfully to avoid any perception of special treatment for those who menstruate. Ultimately, creating a workplace where everyone's well-being is a priority fosters a sense of community and encourages everyone to contribute to a healthy and supportive work environment.
Educate and create awareness
It's important to break down the stigma and taboo surrounding menstrual health and have open conversations about these normal experiences that have been silenced for too long.
Bringing in EWA to provide educational workshops on periods and menstrual disorders creates awareness, understanding, and empathy, leading to a more pleasant workplace for everyone. These workshops should be provided for all levels of the workplace, including senior leadership and the CEO. It's essential for cisgender men to understand what their menstruating colleagues experience, and for all employees to learn about their own bodies and the different stages of their menstrual cycle.
Educating employees about menstrual health teaches them that periods have various symptoms beyond bleeding, including headaches and migraines, which can be debilitating. These conversations also foster understanding about other health issues, such as men's health and the fact that trans men may have periods. It's important to create a culture where employees feel comfortable sharing personal details if they choose to, while also respecting their privacy. Promoting a happy and healthy workplace leads to productive and thriving companies.
Establish policies providing protection from discrimination
Many organizations, especially new and small ones, may not have adequate policies protecting against discrimination for those who menstruate. While there may be debates over whether getting periods should be a protected category, introducing a specific period policy can make employees and colleagues feel seen, heard, and respected. It may take time initially, but it can save a lot of time in the long run.
Trust those who menstruate:
Creating a period-friendly workplace comes down to simply trusting those who menstruate. Trust them to know when they are most productive and when they need rest. If they need to take a day or two off, they will make sure to get their work done before that. If they come in despite their pain for fear of repercussions, they may work at the same pace, but be less productive due to their pain. Taking a day or two off may feel like the worse option in the short run, but it can be more beneficial for both the employee and the company in the long run.
If someone is already in pain and feeling emotional, they do not need the added stress from a boss or manager who doesn't understand the reasons why. Lack of support or animosity towards colleagues for taking time off is not conducive to productivity either. There is already such taboo and stigma around periods that women are reluctant to address them at all, even if they are struggling. Supporting those who menstruate and fostering a period-friendly workplace ultimately benefits everyone.