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[La Presse] - Leadership | Free menstrual products to support fairness

Dernière mise à jour : 19 juil. 2023



Coffee, fruit, massages, game tables, skateboard ramps… When it comes to attracting and retaining employees, you compete in imagination. But in the spirit of fairness and inclusion, adding a product as essential as toilet paper or hand soap could make a difference. “Menstrual products are a necessity in order to manage natural and inevitable functions, but we do not find them in companies,” observes entrepreneur Lara Emond. “It’s time for that to change!” “, she exclaimed in an interview with La Presse. His company Iris Arlo offers a variety of designer menstrual products – yes, it is possible – and without chemicals – an issue in this industry. “What drives me to create the movement to make these products free in establishments and schools is our innovation: we offer our products to companies with a turnkey solution, human resources included, with the added bonus of a report on their environmental and social impact,” explains the founder. Already 115 companies are taking part, including Talsom, LemayMichaud, Lavery, Omy Laboratoires, Monsieur Cocktail and Frank And Oak. A crowdfunding campaign is underway on La Ruche.


International Sleep Day, March 17, reminds you that it is not easy for all employees to fall into the arms of Morpheus. Worse, sleep disorders are costly in terms of absenteeism, replacement, presenteeism, long-term disability, accidents, errors and medication. “It’s more expensive than mental health issues,” said in an interview with La Presse Julien Héon, vice-president, growth and customer experience, at HALEO, a virtual sleep care clinic. More than 50% of Canadians have problems with insomnia and 20% are diagnosed with a chronic insomnia disorder, he indicates. HALEO works with different employers (police services, large financial institutions and manufacturers) and observes that chronic insomnia disorders are present in half of employees who work night shifts. “From a clinical point of view, 94% of people who had moderate to severe insomnia no longer have clinically significant symptoms after using our solution,” says Julien Héon. It also works because employees are more comfortable talking about insomnia than mental health. »


Salaries, a taboo subject par excellence, especially in the upper echelons. However, the disclosure of salaries contributes to reducing the salary gaps for women and racialized people while giving weight to candidates in salary negotiations, recalls in an interview Annie Boilard, president of Réseau Annie RH. As of November 1, 2022, New York City requires companies with four or more employees to display salaries in job postings while Japan wants to force companies to publish the salary they offer women as a percentage of that of men. “In Quebec, we know the salary scales for unionized jobs, and employees of generations Z and Y will spontaneously share their salary. This puts employers on the hot seat to ensure their internal pay equity at all times, because we know that the workers will communicate the information. But it’s on a voluntary basis, unlike New York, “says the specialist. Cold at first, New Yorkers are finally satisfied with the law.


Training on bullying and harassment for managers would not be the solution to counter these problems in the office, observes Arran Heal, general manager at CMP, a company specializing in the management of conflicts in the workplace. In the UK human resources magazine HRD, he points out that 44% of UK business leaders had no training on workplace harassment and that being pressured into training on what constitutes inappropriate behavior can seem condescending. The problem isn’t so much that people don’t know what’s inappropriate, but what they’re supposed to do about it, claims the expert. What’s really needed is better “conversational integrity,” he suggests. Like managers who can handle difficult conversations and training all employees so that they are able to respond to perceived bullying or inappropriate “jokes” and thus have the ability to solve problems on their own.


The good intentions are there. Mistakes happen where we least expect them. How to include workers with disabilities (TSH) in companies and organizations? Lahcen Abouh, provincial coordinator at Prêts, Disponibles et Capables (PDC), Magalie Lavoie, director of occupational health and safety at the Quebec Council of Adapted Enterprises (CQEA), and Christel Akué, occupational therapist in the work rehabilitation program at the Institute Nazareth and Louis-Braille, will demystify the reality of TSH during the webinar “Inclusive practices of people with disabilities in occupational health and safety” on Thursday, March 16 at 12 p.m. What are the particular issues and needs of TSH? What are the conditions for a safe and healthy workplace? The webinar will offer several concrete solutions to answer these questions.


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