Back in 2018, we took the step to develop a period dignity solution for workplaces to enable employers to support menstruation at work. Over the years, we’ve worked with Facilities Managers and FM companies to shape this into the popular scheme that it is today.
How it started
We’ve always set out to bring positive change to the period care industry and, after being shocked by period dignity research from UK reports in 2018, we wanted to take steps to make period care more widely accessible at work.
In our initial research, we discovered that period stigma was prevalent in the workplace, with many feeling they couldn’t discuss or even let on that they were menstruating. We found that many organisations were yet to take steps on a widespread level to tackle this stigma, let alone address menstruation as a pillar of employee wellbeing.
For us, encouraging employers to provide free period care not only became important from a dignity perspective, but also as a driver to tackle period stigma in the workplace – by acknowledging in the first place that periods exist. This is when we took action to go further than flexing our online subscription service to the corporate world. We wanted to develop a Period Dignity Workplace Scheme with a solution designed exclusively for these environments.
How Facilities Management professionals have shaped our solution
We were fortunate to work with an external Facilities Manager from our retail partner network and their cleaning services company during the development phase. Armed with our cardboard prototype, we attended meetings to shape the solution. The decision was made to keep this simple, self-service and to ensure it was easy to replenish and monitor. The thought of having to individually count products to keep stock levels healthy and align with any bathroom SLAs was something these teams expressed concern over.
What came out of this was a compartment workplace unit and refill boxes that contain the top-selling organic cotton products in our range at higher quantities. We gained sign off on this solution by both the facilities and cleaning professionals who were enthused to see it was cost-effective in comparisons to vending solutions yet still offered visibility and efficiency when it came to stock and budget management.
In true TOTM style, we wanted to ensure the bathroom units were sustainable. We opted to use Greencast acrylic which is a long-lasting, carbon neutral and 100% recyclable material (therefore producing no waste should units ever need to be replaced). We also opted to use 100% recyclable cardboard made with FSC materials for our workplace refill boxes.
As demand for our scheme has grown, we’ve continued to adapt to the need of Facilities team and corporate employers. Developments include:
- Offering 2 compartment and 4 compartments units to fit with different bathrooms.
- Developing units that can be either placed on a countertop or wall mounted.
- Expanding the product range to include non-apps (produce less waste) and super flow pads to be inclusive to anyone with a heavy menstrual bleed who prefers pads.
We’re now proud to be working with leading cleaning companies, facilities management and outsourcing organisations.
More than a workplace solution
Our motivation to create a period dignity at work scheme expands beyond our physical product offering. We’ve since added employee wellbeing talks, sustainability education talks, staff rewards and supporting resources.
Our Period Dignity Workplace Solution is a fast-growing, purpose-led service that is opening the door for employers to break period stigma at work and implement solutions or policies to support menstruation. The scheme has since been adapted to other industries too, including educational institutions such as schools and universities, as well as councils in the UK.
This World Facilities Management day we wanted to celebrate all facilities management professionals who have shaped our scheme to what it is today. We also welcome additional questions and feedback from others in this space, please get in touch to discuss your needs.