Gender inclusivity at work is about more than policy. Period

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Gender inclusivity at work is about more than policy. Period

FREE TO READ | Some things have to change – starting with facilities and infrastructure – and it needs to be more than skin deep

Nyasha Chimhandamba

Gender inequality in the workplace is high on the global agenda and many organisations are putting systems in place to build a diverse workforce, promote more women to management positions, and close the gender pay gap. But while these initiatives are laudable, it is becoming apparent that in order to retain women employees efforts must also be put into transformational aspects that enable women to feel comfortable in the workplace and ultimately succeed in the work environment.

What is often ignored is that women have specific embodied needs as a result of their biology, and this has led to a lack of basic facilities and infrastructure in the workplace to support these.

For example, a recent study in the UK found there is a stigma around menstruation in the workplace that causes many women to lie to their managers about their reasons for sick days. The study also reported that a quarter of the women surveyed do not have sanitary bins at work, almost a third do not have constant access to a toilet, and more than 70% have no way of getting sanitary products at work...

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