Dignity is a movement – a movement of fairness, opportunity and compassion. Dignity uses strategy, resilience and ethical practices to create an inclusive and hopeful future that unites businesses, community groups and individuals who care want to make a difference.
Dignity provides a women’s wellbeing initiative of which corporates can purchase a subscription to have sanitary items provided at their workplace and in turn support a buy one, give one model to provide sanitary items to girls in secondary school currently going without. Our customers, including ANZ, Cigna, Xero and Flick Electric, are delivered our Dignity package which includes Organic Initiative sanitary items (whose products decompose in 5 years as opposed to 500 years for conventional products), display canisters and posters in the female bathrooms to provide for free to female employees.
We then give the equivalent number of boxes bought schools to give to girls who can’t afford these items and, in some circumstances, are not attending school due to lack of access. We currently support over 50 schools across New Zealand in Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch totaling to 10,000 students.
As a business we believe in sustainability, fairness and transparency. We currently have four part-time employees paid at least at the Living wage.
Our purpose is to create a movement in New Zealand where women can access sanitary items for free, whether that is through our initiative or encouraging businesses to provide these for free.
We aim to play a leading part in actively reducing the stigma surrounding periods through awareness and womens’ experiences being shared widely.
Why Dignity is changing the game for periods
Dignity was founded on a mission to provide access to sanitary items for all women in New Zealand.
Where we've ended up is a different path to where we originally started. Dignity began with an idea to deliver sanitary items to women every month to stop them getting caught short on their periods. We went and asked women about a time they'd been caught short and what the hardest part was. The more women we talked to the more we realised that getting caught short wasn't the biggest barrier about periods. The largest frustration was the unfairness. Unfairness that sanitary items were a burdened cost upon women – costing up to $15,000 in a lifetime in-fact! There was a sense that the whole process is frustrating, expensive and unfair.
There are tampon and pad delivery services in New Zealand, so why hadn't we signed up to one already? It solves the issue we thought there was. However the issue with sanitary products and periods is the unfairness of having to have one at all. It is a burden both financially and physically.
We wanted women to have Dignity – So we created it.
The world of work over the past three decades has seen an exponentially increase in female participation. Working women spend over 30% of their time in the workplace. Wellbeing in the workplace has become a greater focus in the past year with initiatives like workplace yoga offering ways to enhance the employee experience. Spotlight on diversity and inclusion in the workplace has seen the introduction of unconscious bias training and blind shortlisting being introduced.
But where does this all fit together? Women in the workplace, wellbeing and diversity all wrapped into a tanigble initiative.
We provide sanitary items to businesses who then supply the items freely to their female employees; we also give away the equivalent to secondary school students in need by supporting schools throughout New Zealand. Our customers Flick and Xero have found a 82% increase in personal support felt by their female employees with Dignity.
But it's not all about the numbers, it's about the support it provides female employees. Progressive, inclusive businesses understand that providing sanitary items to their female employees is just like provide coffee when some people are caffeine free or having hand towels in the bathroom – it's just another office consumable.