4 simple steps on how you can help.
When starting with a new construction company, we can be quick to assume that the employer/management has no interest in accommodating women. However, often the issue is simply that they don’t know how. As much as we’d like the industry to change over night, it won’t. We must all understand that in order for men to adapt, they need the proper knowledge and resources.
The importance of an outhouse for women.
When discussing outhouses, the importance of equity over equality comes in to place. It is no secret that most women have their menstrual cycle once a month. This becomes a safety concern when they are not accommodated a clean facility to take care of their feminine hygiene. With urinals in men’s outhouses, space also ends up being a unpleasant factor.
In addition of their monthly cycles, as a woman gives birth and/or ages, the muscles the her pelvis weaken. This can make “holding it in” nearly impossible. This causes sever embarrassment and can even lead to UTI’s and kidney infections even in the youngest of workers.
Menstrual Cycle/Female hygiene products
Menstrual cycle is not something that is considered pleasant. It can actually often be one of the biggest obstacle a women has to face through her career. Certain conditions such as Dysmenorrhea and endometriosis can cause a woman’s cycle to be literally unbearable. These pains are often compared to contractions during labor.
However, you can help. Simply having female hygiene products in your first aid kit or in another area, can make a big difference. It helps reduce her anxiety of possibly bleeding through or having to tell someone she needs to leave due to her cycle. Having ibuprofen or naproxen is also step in helping your employee ease their symptoms and make their day more barrable.
Introduce the 4 second rule.
Many employers and developers have started to introduce the “4 second rule” on their sites. Meaning that a worker may report someone who stares at them for a period longer then 4 second as an anti-harassment policy. For some, this simply action may seem harmless. However, for many, it is seen as demeaning and harassing and can make them feel extremely uncomfortable.
Further more, in certain places, they have put together a course that is dedicated to educate men who want to make a difference. Most organizations have called it “Be more then a bystander”. This program was created to educate men on how they may help to end harassment, bullying and discrimination in the work place. See link for details. Be More Than a Bystander – Mentor Action
Supplied Workwear & PPE
When workwear and PPE is supplied , it is important that we understand that the male and female body is simply not built the same. Whether its gloves, harnesses, boots, uniforms, you name it. EVERYONE IS BUILT DIFFERENT. Now, this goes for men just as much as women. Often, workers will not ask nor complain about these issues with fears they will be seen as an inconvenience to the company.
As an employer, simply providing the options and asking for opinions/feedback can go a very long way. If your suppliers do not carry a selection that accommodate all of your staff, the issue is not your employee. That is something every business owner needs to understand.
Let’s work together
As previously said, the industry will not change over night but once men and women learn to work together and help one another, we’ll be off to the races.