June 9, 2021Flo creates Slack emojis to destigmatise periods at work

As people demand more recognition of menstrual health, a growing number of companies are taking steps to normalise periods at work, such as by introducing menstrual leave policies. To complement this, Flo has collaborated with Slack to create period-themed statuses and emojis.

Precious Osoba

Period tracking app Flo has teamed up with messaging platform Slack and designer Sophia Luu to create four menstruation-related emojis that people can use as statuses. The emojis – which include ‘in pain’ and ‘on my period’ – are intended to help people who menstruate communicate their needs throughout their cycle, whether they need to take time off work or skip video calls. The update came ahead of World Menstrual Hygiene Day in late May, as research finds that up to 90% of people who have periods experience pain, to the extent that 80% have difficulty managing their productivity. It's “my way of saying, ‘I’m in pain, please be mindful and recognize that I might not have the energy to deal with some tasks,’” says Luu.

Women have been pushing for change across sectors, whether they're telling beauty brands to stop shaming them for their appearance, asking sports brands to be more inclusive of people across all genders, or normalising vaginal health. But periods remain taboo – in fact, nine out of ten people who menstruate say that they experience period anxiety at work, and 25% have even taken time off due to menstrual health-related issues. Going forwards, 63% want employers to normalise talking about periods in the workplace, and brands can encourage this through campaigns such as #NoShameHere, created by charity Bloody Good Period and Mother ad agency.

Precious Osoba is a junior behavioural analyst at Canvas8. Fascinated by the hows and whys of people and culture, she has a background in social sciences and a degree in marketing. You can often find her in aesthetically pleasing restaurants writing articles for her Medium profile.

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