July 2020: A BETTER PERIOD Corporate Initiative
With less than 5% of offices in Asia providing period care products for staff, and even fewer incorporating menstrual health education into their employee wellbeing programs, LUÜNA is delighted to welcome Eversheds Sutherland as a pioneer partner in their A BETTER PERIOD initiative.
Eversheds Sutherland is already providing organic LUÜNA tampons and pads to their staff in their Taikoo Place office. This move was led by partner, Rachael Shek, who has long insisted that such essential items be provided, free of cost, for staff at the firm.
"Given that almost 100% of secretaries in law firm’s are women and at least 60-70% of trainee solicitors entering the profession are women and, generally, 80% of women say their periods affect their performance at work or school, is it not important that we finally de-stigmatise periods as part of the conversation around diversity and inclusion and gender equality?" - Rachael Shek, Partner at Eversheds Sutherland
As part of the initiative, LUÜNA CEO & Founder Olivia Cotes-James, was hosted at the Eversheds Sutherland office in Hong Kong to lead a series of lunchtime workshops surrounding the de-stigmatization of menstruation in the workplace.
The first workshop was tailored towards staff who have periods and Olivia began by asking the audience to describe their relationship with menstruation. This revealed that every woman in the room experiences periods negatively, with popular descriptions including 'frustrating,' 'confusing,' 'embarrassing' and 'inconvenient.'
In response, the LUÜNA workshop explored how to make periods better through:
- better product choices
- harnessing our hormonal health
Better Product Choices
The audience were shocked to learn that traditional pads can contain up to 90% synthetic materials which take upwards of 200 years to degrade. These contain harmful toxins which are increasingly linked to chronic health issues.
Moreover, it is oftentimes these products which are at the root of symptoms like smells, irritations, discomfort and stickiness. Switching to an organic cotton option or a period cup can often solve these issues.
Harnessing our Hormonal Health
The workshop then detailed the four stages of the menstrual cycle and some of the common hormonal changes that occur. The audience shared the symptoms they experience throughout their own cycles and LUÜNA provided information about simple lifestyle changes that can reduce negative symptoms throughout the month, as well as enhance positive ones.
Senior Management dissecting big brand pads to reveal plastic ingredients
The second workshop included senior level management of both genders, focusing on how to de-stigmatize menstruation, both in the workplace and at home.
The audience explored situations where they have encountered issues related to menstruation and been ill-equipped to support. Most common was a colleague, friend or family member suffering from pain or discomfort.
In response, Olivia shared data showing the high figures of women with health issues which often go misdiagnosed as 'just bad periods.' Statistics such as, 1 in 10 women have endometriosis but it takes 7-10 years to diagnose, highlight the need for us to tackle the false narrative that periods are inherently negative.
This is especially true in the workplace where, with greater education, colleagues, line managers and HR can support women to overcome painful periods rather than suffering debilitating symptoms on a regular basis.
The LUÜNA team want to say a huge thank you to Rachael and her team at Eversheds Sutherland for their role as a pioneer partner in our mission to Make Periods Better.
If you would like to be involved, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org