Culture Machine, a Digital Media Company has implemented the leave policy for women employees who get optional leave on the first day of their period.
To talk about such a progressive step, we have Devleena S Majumder, President- People & Culture, Culture Machine.
She received a Master’s degree in Industrial Psychology from Mumbai University. In her previous roles, she has led TV today group’s Human Resources function and has also served as an Associate Director of HR at Viacom 18. Prior to her stint at Viacom 18, she was Head of Human Resources Entertainment division for Times Television Network. She is adept in People Management, Leadership Development & Strategic Interventions through Change Management & Organizational Development.
When and why did you think of this initiative?
While it isn’t new to our ears that period cramps are something that most women face and it is definitely not something we look forward to every month. The idea sparked when one of our employees was having a really bad day due to the cramps and that is when we thought why not take period pain seriously and speak up for women experiencing it, instead of having to hide it behind a ‘sick leave’ when it actually is an integral biological process woman go through. The thought behind this initiative was thus to acknowledge the fact that period pain is a natural process and it is completely okay to take some rest on the day you are in most pain and uncomfortable to work.
Whose original idea is it?
It's a collective HR Idea. I am happy the Blush team supported this and everyone in the company responded positively to this, including the Founders.
When did you implement it for the first time or is it yet to implement?
The policy has already been implemented on the 4th July and is functional in all our offices across the globe.
How was the reaction of the female employees on this?
We’ve managed to capture the overwhelmingly positive reactions of a few of our female employees through a video on our digital channel, Blush We first gathered what our ladies had to say about their experiences on the first day of their period. And then revealed to them the FOP policy as a surprise.
Why do you think that other organisations have not come up with such a revolutionary idea?
While this is a debatable subject, it’s high time that new age companies start talking about menstruation and treat this as a natural process. I am sure a couple of other companies have attempted/ implemented this. We are the first company in the media space to not just implement this but to create awareness and a huge impact across the country.
What other changes you think are required to spread the awareness about menstruations and women health?
While proper health and hygiene in the rural and some parts of the urban areas in India is still a concern and remains a challenge. Taking up initiatives such as this to normalise the talk around periods and work towards the solution that works for both the parties is the kind of awareness about menstruation and women health that we as organisations can spread.
It's time, some NGO’S take up the initiative of equipping our women in the rural areas with the knowledge of making sanitary napkins by holding small workshops. With the recent case of heavy taxes being levied on sanitary napkins, this can be a progressive step.
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