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Diva adds paid menstrual leave to employee benefits package

CEO says there has been a 'systemic undermining' of women's pain


Diva is offering employees a new benefit — paid menstrual leave — that is above and beyond regular paid sick days.

Diva, which has about 50 employees in Canada and is a manufacturer of menstruation products, said employees can opt in to the policy that provides a maximum of 12 paid days per calendar year. One day can be taken per month under the policy, it said.

“We made the decision to implement a paid menstrual leave policy to support our mission of destigmatizing periods and to support our staff who menstruate.”

“We at Diva strongly believe that employees should not be put in the position of ‘presenteeism’ and feel pressured to show up to work even when feeling sick, or when it is a detriment to their health. This policy is another way we can foster a supportive work environment.” says president Rick Saini.

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The paid leave is the latest in employee focused workplace policies that have been implemented by Diva. Diva also has a work from home flex policy that allowed employees to work from home even before the onset of the pandemic. Every Diva employee gets a full day (eight hourrs) of volunteer time, paid time, from the company to volunteer with an approved organization of their choosing and every employee gets personal care days on top of their sick days.

“The conversations around menstruation have been so stigmatized it has created a huge equity issue that begins in school and then is carried into the workplace,” says CEO and founder Carinne Chambers-Saini.

“In Canada, a significant portion of people who menstruate have endometriosis, have uterine fibroids and/or suffer from dysmenorrhea. Disorders such as endometriosis can take up to ten years to be diagnosed partly, I believe, as a result of the systemic undermining of women’s pain.”

“That is why this policy will not require a doctor’s note, we believe women and want to empower them in managing their care.”

“Diva is a period positive company with brand values rooted in equity and body autonomy making a paid menstrual leave policy a natural extension of our existing workplace programs,” says Chambers-Saini.

The company said it decided to separate menstrual leave from regular sick leave as a ways of destigmatizing the discussion of menstruation in the workplace and to support employees’ menstrual cycles.

“By setting an example and through advocacy, Diva hopes to inspire other Canadian companies to introduce their own paid menstrual leave policy,” it said in a press release.

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