Corporate culture GH5

Facing Corporate Culture as a Menstruator

While period leave has started being introduced by a few companies in India, the vast majority of the corporate landscape still regards periods as a taboo topic in the workplace. Often due to male dominated offices, lack of knowledge on the topic, little to no access to sanitary care products at the workplace and societal shame associated with periods, corporate menstruators face challenges.

Through interviewing working women between the ages of 22-65 and browsing online spaces, GiveHer5 has compiled anonymous confessions and incidents from menstruators in the corporate world. Some amusing, some relatable and some absurd beyond our imagination….

  1. “My menstrual cup was in the background of my online work meeting and my male coworker politely asked me where I had gotten my ‘espresso glass’ from.”

  2. “I was in sales, working in a factory godown in the early 1980s. There were only male bathrooms at that time. Apart from unhygienic bathroom conditions, the doors of the bathroom would not lock properly. Every time I got my period I would have to hold the door shut with one hand and try to change my pad with the other.”

  3. “My company’s website is filled with paragraphs on ‘Diversity and Inclusion’. Being non-binary, this mattered to me. I called in sick one day due to severe stomach cramps. The next day my manager said that they did not believe me since ‘only women get periods’.”

  4. “My company recently started period leaves and my boss told me that he would prefer it if I did not take them as ‘I had already taken my maternity leave last year’. When I tried explaining to him that the two are different he said ‘aap office chutti maangne ke liye aate ho ya kaam karne ke liye’

  5. “Got my period in the middle of a 12 hour journey on a bus, sitting next to my coworker. I had stained my kurta which my coworker saw and immediately started yelling as he thought I got internal bleeding. He was in his mid twenties and did not know what periods were. I had to explain everything to him. We sat in silence for the rest of the journey…”

  6. “Told my husband to get me pads as I was working from home and unexpectedly got my period. He returned from the store saying he couldn’t find pads but got a packet of adult diapers instead…”

  7. “In the name of ‘inclusion’, my office kept a pad vending machine in the girls bathroom. They are charging Rs.10 per pad, which is absolutely ridiculous! Corporates are out here making crores in profit but can’t provide their employees with proper healthcare, which is a necessity?”

Do you relate to any of these incidents? It sure isn’t easy being a menstruator in the workplace and corporate culture needs to recognise the importance of

Join GiveHer5 in our efforts to #PassPadsNotShame. Reach out to us on social media or on our website to know how you can get involved.

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