The menstrual cycle is a stress management and self-care tool that also offers a clear model of the creative process and sustainable living for women and men. When a woman is aware of the energy dynamic of her cycle and values and works with it, she has a more effective and efficient means of managing her energy and capacities for personal well-being, optimum creativity and productivity in the workplace. In short, cycle awareness is a mindfulness tool for women.
This resource in women is unrecognised and unvalued. For centuries women have endured shame, ridicule and embarrassment and been deprived of education and positions of power because of the cycle. While this historical worldwide disempowerment has shifted to some degree for many women in the world, until women everywhere can comfortably talk about their cycles as healthy, positive and empowering then we are all in some way diminished.
Something is shifting – progressive organisations are aware that as part of their diversity and inclusivity programmes this issue needs to be raised in the workplace.
Understand the realities of your employees' experience and self-esteem & consider how your organisation could respond positively and be rewarded by improved staff retention and satisfaction, individual well-being and overall productivity and better relations between colleagues. In truth it is about treating people with dignity and respect.
At Red School we believe in building menstrual cycle literacy – breaking the taboo and bringing freedom to talk about this openly, promoting good knowledge on the cycle and providing women with some choice and flexibility to bring their work and life into a better balance with their own natural cyclical tendencies.
Following a workplace assessment and an initial presentation we can develop policies and programmes & offer training to staff and management. We consult, develop and offer guidance tailored to each organisation’s needs, circumstances and desires. So Menstrual Policy development will be bespoke to each organisation. This can take into account specific issues such as women in menopause transition, young people in education or the needs of all genders.
Red School can provide workshops, training and consultancy services to :
We believe it’s not about imposing time off at menstruation but building menstrual cycle awareness for all. It’s about organisations creating a supportive environments, policies and practices to enable this to happen. Maybe some additions to existing health and well-being practices within an organisation. It might include offering some flexible working during menstruation but it won’t be solely that. It could mean allowing staff to manage their tasks and schedule to adjust better to the different capacities in the different zones of the cycle – early in the cycle is better for developing new projects and networking, later in the cycle is better for editing and evaluating progress.
Cycle literate women have the edge. They don’t work harder, they work smarter, capitalising on these powers of cycle for optimum well-being, creativity and leadership for themselves and their organisations. By not insisting women override the pulse of the menstrual cycle many women find that the most distressing physical and emotional problems are eased. Cycle awareness is a stress reduction strategy, it will ease menstrual distress.
This is also crucial for women who suffer physical or emotional menstrual difficulties, so they can manage and heal their symptoms without feeling stigmatised. It supports girls as they move through puberty and women as they go through the transition of menopause.
It’s about people and organisations working with the concepts of agility, flexibility, resilience, stress management and seasonality. This work is about bringing our humanity back to the core of our relationship with nature and each other.
TreeSisters (Edveeje Fairchild)
EarthHeart Centre (Jewels Winfield)
Babes in the Wood (Hetti Dysch)
Victorian Women’s Trust (Jane Bennett)
Developing : CoExist
“Working with the monthly cycle – in very practical ways – is one of the ways we put life at the core of our organizational culture. In the last two years we have watched this approach create a working environment that encourages a more productive, healthy, and inspired team.
While some might argue the fiscal practicality of our policy, each year we are out performing the previous year in both fundraising and achieving our organizational goals. We are proving that organizations can work with women in this way while also increasing the bottom line, enhancing productivity, and promoting overall health and wellbeing. A period policy just makes good business sense.”
Edveeje Fairchild, Chief Operations Officer, TreeSisters
Article in Red School Newsletter redschool.net/pioneering-period-policy-frequently-asked-questions/
Coverage of Pioneering Period Policy Seminar redschool.net/pioneering-period-policy and redschool.net/pioneering-period-policy-update
Coverage of Period Panel at Women’s Equality Party National Conference thedebrief/videos/periodpanel/ and Menstruality Motion