Updated: Jul 31, 2022
Episode 30 - The Professional Empathy Podcast
Empathy and Menstruation at Work with Sarah Ripper and Matilda Marsh from Myoni.love
or watch the episode below on YouTube.
On this episode of The Professional Empathy Podcast I welcome Sarah Ripper and Matilda Marsh from Myoni.love to talk about all things Menstruation in the Workplace. Join us as we discuss our menstrual cycle and how we can begin to adapt our working lives to accomodate the natural 'seasons' of our energy, productivity and strengths.
Matilda & Sarah are the founders of Brisbane social enterprise, Myoni. They are passionate about providing reusable, ethical and locally made products & services to make your cycle as safe, comfortable and empowering as possible.
This is such an inspiring episode for all of us to create more inclusive, empathetic workplaces and communities.
Find Sarah and Matilda at https://myoni.love/
And for your special listener discount enter the code PODCAST at https://empathytraining.thinkific.com/courses/empathy-first-fundamentals
[00:00 - 01:41] - Welcome notes and outlining of today's topic, Empathy and Menstruation at Work
[01:41-02:51] - Introduction of Sarah and Matilda and why they are the best people for discussing empathy menstruation in the workplace
[02:51] - The menstrual revolution
[04:49] - About Myoni and how they began the Myoni social enterprise
[06:54] - The need to discuss the stigma and taboos associated with menstruation
[08:45] - The phases of menstruation cycle
[12:53] - The importance of tracking your cycle
[20:29] - Optimizing our productivity during each phase of our cycle
[26:39] - Having open conversations about menstruation in workplaces
[30:07] - Period poverty and free menstrual products
[33:29] - Empathetic approach to menstruation in the workplace
WHAT THEY DISCUSSED:
The Menstrual Revolution
Periods have a space beyond just this thing that happens to women. We don't talk about it; it's just assumed to be something we just suffer or tolerate. That's why Sarah and Matilda started making menstrual products.
Later they realized that menstruation is a tool for a way bigger conversation about sustainability, health and wellbeing, productivity and mental health impacts. There's so much more beyond just having a cycle once a month or having a menstrual bleed once a month.
There is such shame and taboo around menstruation, around periods around the menstrual cycle, and it needs to be shaken up.
Why They Established the Myoni Social Enterprise
Before menstrual cups became popular in Australia, you had to search for them. People used to import them from the US to use them. And do that, they needed an importer's license and could only bring a handful through at a time. So, it was a fringe thing.
So, Sarah and Matilda developed and designed their own menstrual cup. Their cups are made in Australia out of materials that are ethical, sustainable and recyclable at the end of their use.
Tracking Your Cycle
It's valuable to look at your whole cycle and make notes. If you've done it over a couple of months, you may see that patterns emerge - whether they're emotional or interpersonal or do with your spending, exercise or eating habits.
Tracking your cycle can be super simple; use a calendar you currently have or use an app to jot down your period dates and any related experiences or symptoms.
Period leave is not about the perception that we're asking to be all or nothing. It's we're asking to manage, take control and saying that, "For me to be my most productive, I have to take advantage of when I am motivated; when I am at my sharpest, and when I'm rejuvenating and practising the self-care that I need."
Period poverty is when people don't have access to the period care products they need. They could be using toilet paper. Maybe they don't even have toilet paper. And this is something that can prevent people from accessing school, work or sport.
Embracing and Valuing Your Employees
Businesses must look at embracing their workforce and bringing them into this new paradigm where people are valued. We're not just trying to fit into this cookie cutter of a nine to five work day that doesn't suit a lot of people. We need to create the space for greater human connection and empathy.
Empathy in the Workplace
People are like an iceberg. You can only see a little portion of a person; everything else is happening below the surface. And once we start to honour people for what's happening below the surface, whether they tell us or not, and show grace and actually be interested in humans, as humans need to be heard, they're not resources or problems to be solved, that's where the magic happens.
That's where people feel a sense of belonging. They can be their authentic self. They tell people that it's a good place to work. They're nicer to their customers. They're nicer to each other. And then they have better output.
Please visit https://myoni.love to learn more about their ethical, sustainable menstrual products and education offerings.
Hi! I'm Leanne Butterworth, Empathy Speaker and Educator, University Lecturer and Mental Health Advocate.
Empathy First is a Brisbane-based social enterprise offering Empathy workshops, online courses and individual Empathy coaching to help you build connection and strengthen your relationships for personal and professional success.
Contact me today and let's talk about how you can put Empathy First.