Today is International Women's Day, a day of recognition that celebrates women's achievements. But IWD is also an opportunity to raise awareness of the ongoing issues of gender-based bias and discrimination that women continue to face and how we can take action to overcome them for equality. However, we're not going to be able to do this important work if we only focus on it one day a year, we need to be taking steps to achieve equality for women every day. So today we wanted to share with you what steps we have taken here at Timely.
Firstly, when we employed our very first team member, we implemented paid menstrual leave. We made this decision at the very beginning of our life as a company, when we were only a team of two. While Timely Coffees began as a solo operation run by its co-founder Seb, Giorgia was the first person employed to be a part of the team, and we're so proud that she is still with us today. So we had a paid menstrual leave policy included in our very first employment contract, and it has featured in every single one we have offered since.
We are aware that some people may think that having paid menstrual leave is an unnecessary or unfair entitlement, and these opinions are often affirmed by the rarity of companies that have chosen to implement similar policies. So, why is it so important to us at Timely that we include it in our staff leave entitlements?
Firstly, we do it because we want people to understand it's a legitimate leave entitlement. If there are members of our team who have a legitimate medical reason for why they may need to access additional paid leave, then we should be able to give it to them because we support and value them. Period (no pun intended). Paid menstrual leave is vitally important because it shows our staff we understand that for far too long working life has been solely defined by men's experiences of the world. And it's well past time this changed.
Providing access to paid menstrual leave for all of our staff demonstrates the steps we are actively taking towards celebrating women's achievements, raising awareness against gender-based bias and discrimination, and taking legitimate action for workplace equality.
It's obvious to us that our diversity is one of our greatest strengths here at Timely. 50% of our team uses She / Her pronouns. Still, more importantly, these women are not concentrated at any one level of the company hierarchy but are represented across the company at every level. This representation is not something that happened by accident, nor is it something that we take lightly. To achieve this, we've made it clear from our very first day that our culture is not just accepting diversity but embracing it, and that it is everyone's responsibility to actively learn how we can work towards achieving this in everything we do. On IWD, and on every other day of the year too.