You have watched Nancy Kramer’s TED Talk, which launched the national #FreeTheTampons moment. YOU are ready to take action and help YOUR company join the menstrual movement. Regardless if you are an intern, employee, executive, or random change-making feminist….
Who should I talk to about offering free menstrual products at my work place?
The best place to start is with HR. Other parties that will be involved in the decision include facilities, operations, and procurement. While you can start the conversation in other departments, HR is typically a champion for these types of initiatives.
What should I say when talking to HR, Operations, and Facilities?
ALWAYS use data. Thankfully, we have this nice FACT SHEET that you care share with your decision maker. While we agree that offering menstrual products is the right thing to do, it is important to demonstrate to the company the “return on investment” of offering free menstrual products.
Offering free menstrual products reduces lost work hours and improves ratings on best places to work for women. It is actually CHEAPER to offer free tampons than to service coin operated machines.
How much does it cost?
Initial Investment (one-time)
For businesses that service the general public, like a restaurant or dentist, costs will fluctuate based on traffic and industry. Aunt Flow can help determine the annual cost based on your business size and customer frequency.
Where can we get the funds?
A few ideas include:
Human Resources: Benefits programs
Facilities: The same budget that toilet paper comes out of
Facility green initiatives: Aunt Flow menstrual products produce 34% less waste than other brands (based on internal research and sustainability testing, conducted in 2019).
Women’s leadership groups affiliated with the business
Who is in charge of stocking the restrooms?
The general rule is that tampons follow the toilet paper. If toilet paper is being restocked by a maintenance company once a week, the tampons will be restocked once a week by the maintenance department.
Should we stock ALL bathrooms (male, female, and gender neutral)?
We support many customers that stock ALL bathrooms. At Aunt Flow, we believe that everyone should have access to menstrual products. It is important to remember that not all people that menstruate identify as women. If your campus does decide to stock male bathrooms, ensure that there are proper disposal receptacles in the bathrooms.
Do we need a dispenser, or can we just use an Aunt Flow box?
Offices have used both dispensers and boxes and we have observed the most success with a free-vend menstrual product dispenser. One of the most common concerns around offering freely accessible menstrual products is overuse or "theft." The ESTROGEN Aunt Flow® dispenser offers a mechanical delay to reduce overuse.
In addition, an investment in a dispenser is a clear demonstration that the menstrual product program is there to STAY.
Will people take more products than they need?
There will be a large influx of usage during the first 3 months of offering free product. This is typical with any new “freebie” — When a company starts offering free soda, people will hoard the soda with a scarcity mentality. After 3 months, people understand that the products are always available and the usage will decrease. Only 16% of menstruators report relying solely on their workplace supply of menstrual products as their only supply (based on a survey of Aunt Flow Corp. customers, conducted in 2019).
Aunt Flow supports hundreds of businesses in developing and maintaining a menstrual product program. Aunt Flow is a certified, woman-owned business based in Columbus, Ohio.