Today we share the story of Kate, an ordinary woman with an ordinary experience at work. Kate, can you tell us what exactly happened?
"Of course! It all started on an ordinary Tuesday morning at the office. I was in an important meeting with my colleagues and we were busy discussing project updates. But halfway through the meeting I felt something awkward happen. I realized to my horror that I had gotten my period and I didn't have any tampons or sanitary towels with me."
How did you feel at that moment?
“Well, stressful is to put it mildly! I was deeply embarrassed and tried to focus on the meeting, but my mind kept wandering to my problem. It was uncomfortable, especially because I knew that if I didn't do something soon, I'd would leak. I wondered if I should get up to go to the toilet, but I was afraid that I had already leaked and that my colleagues would see it if I walked away."
How did you deal with that situation?
"I sat until the end of the meeting and waited for everyone to leave so I could be the last to walk out the door. I rushed to the bathroom. It felt like everyone was watching me as I walked past my colleagues In the toilet I noticed that I had leaked a little bit in my pants. I realized that I had no other option than to ask a colleague for a tampon and that I had to go straight home to change my pants.
And how did your colleague react?
"Luckily my colleague was very understanding. I called her from the toilet and she brought me tampons and my jacket to tie around my waist. She even gave me a hug through the toilet door to reassure me."
That sounds like a friendly colleague.
"Yes, absolutely! That experience made me realize that we need to be able to talk openly about menstruation at work. I want to make sure that menstrual products are always available in the office, so that no woman ever has to feel so ashamed or uncomfortable again to feel the way I did that day. It's time to stand up for a workplace where everyone is understood, no matter what their body brings them."