Published: 04th July 2017
Culture machine lets women leave for their periods: Digital media company's HR bosslady says that male employees loved the idea!
Culture Machine, which is also the parent company of Chennai's PutChutney has decided to give their women employees an off on the first day of their period, an option available on leave applications
If you're a woman, you know how insane it feels to have to work on the first day of your period. But despite the death-like pain, women get on that local train or that crowded bus, squishing against all the others, trying to sit still in their office chairs while they writhe in pain and discomfort, running to the toilet every now and then, stuffing their pant pockets with pads they have to hide from their colleagues' eyes and having to lie through their teeth to their employers that they're fine or that they have a slight "fever". If they do end up taking the day off, then they feel inadequate and incompetent, so they would rather suffer through the pain.
But what if someone told you that it was OKAY to take the day off? That the pain was understandable (especially since latest reports that suggest that menstrual cramps are as bad as heart attacks) and that you were legitimately allowed to rest your body that one day? That the fact that blood is flowing out of you IS a big deal! Wouldn't that just be great? Well, the entertainment company Culture Machine has done just that, they're giving their women employees the first day of their period off!
The company has put out a video of all their employees responding gratefully to the news and like many of their videos, this one is getting on the viral train too!
Edexlive spoke to Devleena Majumdar, HR Head, Culture Machine to ask what led to the move and what the reactions have been since then.
How did the idea first strike? What was the motivation (not that it doesn't have enough motivation already) behind the move?
Well, we bring out the Blush series which is all about women empowerment and we regularly speak about it in lots of our other videos too, so we figured why not align this to our employees as well. Our women population is also quite high - about 35 percent and they are all young women so this comes up in discussions. Recently, we were just having a chat and someone was talking about a girl in the office who was suffering from very bad cramps that day, all that just came together, now we're one of the first companies to have it!
Was it difficult to implement it though? Usually, men tend to think that the leave is a added privilege and will be taken "advantage off", so did you have a hard time convincing the men in the company?
We actually had overwhelming support from the male members of the company. In fact, the men were the ones to shoot the video. Even our men in top posts were extremely supportive of the idea. It wasn't difficult to implement, I also did my research on this option available in other countries so that helped. About the taking advantage part, the foundation of our company is built on trust, we trust our employees and full faith that they won't misuse the leave.
So, what was the reaction from the employees? Did the video actually manage to capture real emotions?
Yes, they are all real emotions, we've been working on this for three weeks and broke the news to the employees a week ago, so they were all surprised. Since then so many people have come up to me to thank me and they've written beautiful posts on Facebook too. We even celebrated it today, distributed chocolates to all our female employees even our housekeeping staff and security.
So can they call up and request for the leave?
No, they don't have to do that, we have a separate option in our leave slip so they can just mark the leave option that applies to them. Also, this is a pan-India initiative, so our companies across the country will have this leave including our PutChutney company in Chennai.
We asked women what they would do if they got an off on the first day of their period, read here: http://www.edexlive.com/live-