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Hope You Are in PINK OF Your Health: Ferns N Petals
Ferns N Petals India’s gifting giant introduces “PINK” leave that support women's menstrual health.
With an effort to combat the stigma around menstruation and promote women-friendly policies, Ferns N Petals India’s gifting giant introduces “PINK” leave that support women's menstrual health. This leave policy is made keeping
in mind women’s unique needs, well-being and health, and hygiene. The policy is applicable for all female & transgender associates at Ferns N Petals & its group companies. Pawan Gadia, CEO, Retail & Online at Ferns N Petals India, GCC & APAC Regions, believes in creating safe and comfortable work environment that respects
biological needs and thus support Menstrual Health & Gender equality at workplace.
1. How FNP supports Gender equality at workplace? Also, what different are you doing at FNP which distinguishes you from other companies?
We believe that gender equality is more than a goal in itself. Ferns N Petals is an inclusive place to work, regardless of gender. Having said that, we do practice the following policies that helps us to improve gender equality at workplace-
- 1. Equality in pay
- 2. Considering Leadership Roles for both Men and Women
- 3. Prioritize work-life balance
- 4. We have very strict guidelines for action against any employee who exhibits immoral behavior at the workplace, irrespective of Gender
The introduction of Pink Leave or menstrual leave policy & Paternity Leave, is already a step in the direction of doing things differently. Irrespective of the fact that we aim at having a very diverse and inclusive work place, FNP will not chart out a plan to target a particular group. We will not go to the market to hire only women or only male staff. We strongly believe in the concept of talent and merit and want to provide equal opportunities to all.
- How Ferns N Petals promotes diversity and inclusion at the workplace? As part of core values at FNP, how the company trains its employees to meet these goals?
To fulfil its D&I agenda and build a workforce which is as diverse as possible, Ferns N Petals truly wants to bring different perspectives to the table, so that we perform better as a company. The focus is not just on creating a gender-diverse ecosystem, but to hire people from all backgrounds and communities including differently-abled people and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Listed are couple of ways we promote D&I and train our employees to meet these goals.
- Train/ Sensitize Hiring managers to interview with open slate- no baggage or convention on Role Vs Gender.
- Online Module on POSH
- POSH Trainings
- Core Value Internalization sessions with Team
- Educate team about ‘People first ‘approach
- ‘Lead by Example’ sessions to set the right direction on team hiring & management.
- What is Pink Leave? What made FNP bring a thoughtful policy for women employees?
Pink leave is an employment policy that allows individuals to take additional paid leave from work during menstruation as a rest day. This leave policy is made keeping in mind women’s unique needs, wellbeing and health and hygiene. For each employee, one leave will be credited in the beginning of every month.
Ferns N Petals is one of the first few corporate organization to do so. The company believes in creating safe and comfortable work environment that respects biological needs and thus support Menstrual Health & Gender equality at workplace.
- As we are all aware, Indian society attaches a lot of stigma around menstruation, how big the challenge was to introduce such a policy?
Making our organization a convenient place to work, we are pro at adapting changes, believe in evolving ourselves for good and betterment of the company as well our employees. With an effort to combat the stigma around menstruation and promote women-friendly policies, Ferns N Petals India’s gifting giant introduced “PINK” leave that supports women menstrual health in August 2021.
The major challenge was acceptability and assimilation into the system- as this was a very unique and people generally are not open to talk about it as per our social upbringing. We had to educate, sensitize and reinforce in the minds of people that it is acceptable to talk about ‘Menstruation’ and need a dedicated leave to rest it out. On the other hand, we also made it very clear that any lose talks will be taken up as a serious offense.
We are a gender diverse company and we have leaders who understand the challenge of introducing a policy and stigma around menstruation that is still prevalent in our society.
Before we came with this big idea of introducing and adapting to women-friendly policies, our team who works on new initiatives researched on policies that caters to the unique health & emotional well-being of people and were intrigued by the thought of Pink Leave and how it will help D & I in a long way by supporting Employees’ wellbeing.
To support Pink Leave, we installed Vending Machines in our women washrooms
Further to this leave policy, we installed pink vending machines for employee access wherein they can get a sanitary napkin at Rs.5/-only and be at ease for the rest of the day at work as well.
- Did FNP run a campaign around Pink Leave for awareness? How does the policy work, what is the diversity of employees it caters to and highlight the eligibility criteria? Also, what has been the response of women employees upon introduction of this new policy?
The company ran a campaign to generate awareness on the Pink Leave policy with our leadership and employees at all levels.
During the campaign, we invited employees for story-telling sessions how they feel during these days, what problems they face, how work gets hampered and how we can improve, upgrade and manage work if FNP credits a Pink Leave every month.
Through this campaign, we also conveyed the message to apply for Pink Leave without any hesitation and feel comfortable availing the leave.
Code of Conduct
Additionally, at FNP we have strict guidelines for action against any employee who exhibits immoral behavior at the workplace with respect to demeaning women employees.
Menstrual leave is an employment policy that allows individuals to take additional paid leave from work during menstruation as a rest day. For each employee, one leave will be credited in the beginning of every month. Being a gender diverse organization, the policy applies to both women and LGBTQ employees.
- How do you think technology has played a pivotal role in introducing such innovative policies at workplace?
We feel technology has a major role to play while introducing new and innovative policies at the company. It has definitely reshaped and streamlined our HR processes.
Our HRMS Platforms helps in introducing new HR policies
To make things easier, all employees have a facility to send the HR team a request using the Company’s HRMS platform, in regards to pink leave or any other leave.
With ease, our HRMS platform has helped us introduce innovative policies for our employees. For instance, if one of the employees is facing a challenge or is hesitant on sharing a reason of their leave especially like a mensuration leave, they can directly get it approved on the HRMS platform by simply raising a leave request.
This process makes it is convenient for the employee, reporting manager as well as the HR team to understand each other with the help of technology.
Ideally, we would want our employees to speak about the taboo and stigma but if one is uncomfortable, the idea is to create a platform that helps them avail such leaves.
The HRMS platform also provides details and entitlement specific to each leave for a better understanding of all the leave policies at FNP.
- We heard FNP recently introduced Paternity Leave too. How has it been designed and on what grounds can one opt for such long leaves?
Ferns N Petals recently introduced Paternity Leave for the new fathers. It is a paid leave for permanent male employees with upto 2 surviving children.
Newly fathers are eligible for 7 days of paid paternity leave (in one stretch) which are inclusive of any rest days, weekends, off days, shutdown days and public holidays, etc.