What’s the fuss about sending period packages to female employees? [Pulse Editor's Opinion]

We actually need more, not less care packages in the workplace.

Period problems in the office

Who would have thought that we'd be here, only a few weeks after women’s month, arguing the merits of providing period packages for women in the workplace? This writer definitely didn’t see that coming.

To put a bit of context on this, the whole month of March was chock-full of events and symposia, talks and social media campaigns, supposedly geared toward making the lives of women better. There was a blinding spotlight on how society can collectively alleviate the peculiar burdens that women have to bear in order to make a headway in their chosen paths.

One would have thought that those messages resonated well enough to not be forgotten so hastily, but here we are, less than a month after all the round tables, and something as minute as period packages for female employees is attracting frowns and negative sentiments online — from women no less!

All of this would be hilarious if it wasn’t a tad absurd but again, here we are…

A little backstory

Certain company decides to take initiative and [very beautifully, it must be said] sends a period package to their employees who experience their monthly period.

Said employees are quite elated about it and some post pictures on Twitter — with shout outs to the company, of course. Sounds like a cute indication of what makes female employees happy and valued, right? I mean, seeing how really happy those employees sounded, you’d think that that was the sort of thing people would applaud and give the company props for. In the manner of Twitter NG, though, things quickly went south.

To be frank, that the kind gesture became an issue was not particularly the most shocking thing for this writer, it was the manner in which it did — ridiculously, repellently, and exasperatingly.

Weird takes on a pleasant gesture

The ridiculous takes on this company's brilliant gesture lends credence to the argument of those who staunchly believe that our society hates women and would stop at nothing to make life difficult for them at every turn.

First, there were those who wanted to know how sustainable the initiative would be. Shouldn’t companies be focusing their energy on making money and doing corporate stuff? Is that even a sustainable thing to begin with? Where is the place for buying pads and tampons for female employees in corporate management, they wondered.

It’s a goddamn care package, not parcels of land! What could it possibly contain other than sanitary pads, tampons and maybe some comfort food?

Did these people not think that the company would have crunched its numbers before embarking on this?

And you have to wonder if the people who asked such questions are stuck in the 90s or if they have the slightest inkling of what modern employees consider a great workplace to be.

In an age where people are looking beyond the pay [they’re not losing sight of it though], focusing on great culture, ethics, policies and similar stuff; it is clear that every thoughtful thing counts for employers.

Timely payment of monthly salaries no longer precludes employers from looking out for the [mental] health and welfare of their employees — extra points when those employees are female.

And then there were people whose comments left you wondering whether they had a functioning brain while making them: people actually thought it was a good idea to ask if the company asked its employees to write the date of their monthly cycle before sending them the package.

I mean, people who menstruate usually do so monthly; so sending out the package at a certain time of the month would clearly remove the need to ask anyone for a specific date. This is not rocket science now, is it?

Some considered the policy of giving out care packages creepy and suggest instead that the sanitary products could be stocked in the office restrooms as you’d normally have tissue and hand soaps there anyway.

There is some logic here but then again, how do you do that for people working remotely? And isn’t remote work what most workers are pining for these days?

We actually need more, not less period packages in the workplace

Other companies with a mind to do something similar for their employees might observe the drama surrounding this period package debacle and lose a nerve -- understandably so.

But in the grand scheme of things, employee happiness will always trump social media noise. The employees who came to hail their company for caring about that bit of their life clearly have no qualms with it, so it renders all the chatter on the issue very, very irrelevant.

And in the opinion of this writer, happiness and employee satisfaction are what employers should always aim for, mostly for their female workers [it’s women we’re focusing here, don’t forget].

We need to see more daycares, more inclusiveness for women of childbearing age, more interesting care packages for that time of the month and some attention to the needs of new mums, too!

If the policies are respectful, thoughtful, accepted and appreciated by the women giving their all to help a company achieve its goals, then they should, by all means, be implemented; whether some faceless folks on social media, who have no stake in the matter, like it or not.

______

*Pulse Editor's Opinion is the viewpoint of an Editor at Pulse. It does not represent the opinion of the Organisation Pulse.

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