Swyft logistics, a two year old tech based logistics startup with a 30% female workforce has created a “period policy” calling it “Monthlies” to allow employees to take time off during their periods without having to pretend they’re “sick” or face the stigma that lingers around menstruation
Muhammad Uns, CEO of Swyft, said that the that the policy was specifically designed to combat that stigma:
“I have managed many female members of staff over the years and I have seen women at work who are bent over double because of the pain caused by their periods. Despite this, they feel they cannot go home because they do not class themselves as unwell.“And this is unfair. At Swyft Logistics we are very understanding. If someone is in pain – no matter what kind – they are encouraged to go home. But, for us, we wanted a policy in place which recognises and allows women to take time for their body’s natural cycle without putting this under the label of illness.”
More than just another leave policy, Swyft’s period policy encourages women to take time off as needed and discourages reluctance to speak openly about their bodies. It’s specifically designed to reshape the workplace conversation about bodies; to force us to acknowledge that we aren’t just thinking machines, we’re biological machines with complex processes and cycles. Part of the logic of Swyft’s policy is that productivity is affected by everything going on in your body, not just how many super foods you had for breakfast or how many hours of sleep you got last night. Research shows that womens’ productivity ebbs and flows in relation to their menstrual cycle – so workplaces should work with that natural flow, rather than against it.
In addition to creating a workplace that’s more understanding of the body’s natural cycles, Swyft wants to reduce stigma and end the perception of menstruation as illness. Sure you could use your sick leave to take a day off as needed, but should you have to take a sick day when you’re not sick? Menstruation isn’t a state of illness or aberrance – it’s an ordinary biological process.
Swyft is the first and only company in Pakistan to provide a flex time or leave program specifically designed with menstruation in mind i.e., pre-approved 12 annual leaves calling it “MONTHLIES”