HR expert and founder of staffing and hiring solutions Lfg international, Stephany Francisca, shares five best practices, organizations can adopt to encourage healthy conversations around period pain in the workplace. This was shared on Instagram via an IG LIVE, hosted by Purplecomms, to mark Menstrual Hygiene Management Day on May 28th.

During the LIVE interactive session, Francisca urged females to be more open about their menstrual pain with HR or their line managers. “If we are more open about period pain, HR can create a business case to see if there is more than can be done, like a work from home policy, to support female employees while protecting the interests of the business, ” Francisca said when asked, why females needed to be more straight forward about menstrual pain in the workplace.

Followers of the IG LIVE had the opportunity to learn some of the ways the workplace can be adapted to ensure the productivity of women, who suffer severe period pain while safeguarding their wellbeing.

These five tips we’re shared.

  1. Make available Menstrual hygiene products.

Tampons or menstrual pads should be made easily accessible in the workplace. A self-servicing menstrual machine can be installed in the female toilets to allow employees to access them discreetly.

  • Educate, to make the stigma as low as possible.

As seen in the “good mental health” promotion, using internal communication channels such as posters, newsletters and the intranet, employers can encourage female employees to be more open about issues surrounding menstruation.

  • Rooms dedicated to mental health.

To safeguard the mental health of its employees some organizations have dedicated rooms on the premises. Female staff with bad period pain can use this facility to release the stress that is accompanied by menstrual pain.

  • Making the time up.

Should an employee need to go home as a result of menstrual pain, they should be given the choice to do so on condition that they make up for the lost time on another day. This is a

win-win solution for both employer and employee.

Be seen as an employer that has thought about it.

  • If you run a retail store or are into construction take into consideration the menstrual pain of your female staff and use this to adjust shifts in your workforce plan. You should also provide disposable bins to help women dispose of their used menstrual products.

The LIVE session was part of an Instagram campaign, hashtagged Talk about it, led by Wellness Gh, Selflesssisters and Purplecomms to raise awareness on period pain and the extent to which it impacts the lives of most women, particularly in school and at the workplace.

Women from all parts of the world were encouraged to share their stories on menstruation to encourage a positive conversation around menstrual pain and discomfort. These stories we’re shared on Instagram and WhatsApp and received attention from women, with a large number from Ghana.

This initiative was embarked upon following a survey which found that 71% of 100 women from different parts of the world thought conversations on period pain was limited. The same survey also found that 50% of women have at some point taken the day off because of their periods and 53% found it awkward to ask their bosses for time off work because of menstrual pain.

About the author: Priscilla Aseye Febiri is a PR professional and founder of Purplecomms, a start-up PR consultancy dedicated to providing PR and communication solutions for start-up businesses in Ghana and Europe. Priscilla has a Masters in International Applied Communications and is passionate about social issues.