Stomach cramps, migraines, extreme fatigue, nausea … Are you familiar with these symptoms due to menstruation? Some companies march ahead of the parade and decide to offer one month off due to period pain.
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This is particularly the case of Clark Influence, a Montreal marketing agency. It was the former account manager who brought this idea to the founder and CEO of Clark Influence, Nicolas Bon. Talking to him about several companies that had progressive policies for the well-being of employees – notably that of menstrual leave – the company decided to test the project for six months, only to transform it into a longer-term measure and l ” register as a corporate social policy.
Concretely, it is about a day of rest that the employees can take, without having to present a medical prescription. Everything is based on the climate of trust that Nicolas Bon tries to establish within the company. An environment that encourages women to take care of themselves, to thrive in a company that cares about the well-being of its employees.
Another positive point of this policy is that it prevents them from having to dip into their sick leave bank if they have to be absent because of menstrual pain, thus saving them from this “double penalty: that of suffering and that of having to take personal leave, ”says Nicolas Bon.
Some do not yet dare
The measure has been very favorably received, even though, so far, 50% of employees have taken advantage of this day of rest. The employer still has work to do at this level. “Some do not yet dare to take it, so we can hammer home the message more, remember that they should not be afraid to take it today,” reports Nicolas Bon. Others do not take advantage of it because they do not experience pain related to their period.
Nothing abnormal, since it is “from 32 to 40% of women who report severe pain that can cause them to be absent from school or their work”, according to Marianne Rodrigue, coordinator of development and community outreach at Montreal Women’s Health Center. Even so, “nearly 90% of women and people who have their period report experiencing symptoms surrounding their period.”
This is reason enough to put measures in place and speak openly about menstruation, according to Nicolas Bon. His wish: to encourage other companies to put in place similar measures, which thereby aim to promote workforce retention and work-family-personal life balance.
Destigmatize menstruation … in another way
At the house of Womance, we have the well-being of women at heart in another way: menstrual products – tampons and sanitary napkins – have been offered free of charge and placed in various strategic places for nearly a year. What surprised Andréanne Marquis, founder of Womance the most? “What I underestimated before establishing this measure is that it costs practically nothing to set up, especially when you look at what it brings like benefits! “
Besides, what are they? We talk about mental stability, “to take that pressure off the shoulders of women.” Many young people are employed at Womance and Andréanne Marquis is very aware that asking for a tampon or sanitary napkin when needed can be embarrassing. All the conditions are therefore in place so that menstruation can be experienced in a simple way.
And then, without having officially instituted the menstrual holidays, Andréanne specifies that “with us, if things don’t go well, you don’t come back. We are very open about it ”.