Sanicle Celebrated 10 Years of International Menstrual Hygiene Day with Second Virtual Summit

The theme for the 2nd Annual Menstrual Health Summit was SheWorks Period Check to destigmatize menstruation and promote access to quality menstrual products, education, and facilities in the workplace. Sanicle is a femtech digital healthcare company committed to revolutionizing women’s health through innovative AI solutions. Michelle, the new CEO of Sanicle, kicks off the summit introducing the company’s mission to revolutionize access to menstrual health resources in government and corporate workplaces. 

“From June to December we are focused on several key milestones. We are finalizing our MVP, developing our website and actively pursuing SBIR grants to support our initiatives. Collaboration with all stakeholders is crucial, and we are committed to working closely with employers, healthcare providers, and policy makers to create a supportive ecosystem for menstrual health.

Chaste Inegbedion, the Chief Period Officer at Sanicle, spoke about the progress made in advocating for menstrual health and the importance of continued efforts to create a more period-friendly world. 

“Creating a world where menstruation is not a source of shame or disadvantage is crucial. This involves continuous education, advocacy, and implementation of inclusive policies. By fostering a supportive environment, we can empower individuals to manage their menstrual health with dignity and respect.”

Rep. Suzanne’s Accomplishments and Childcare Initiatives

Suzanne Schreiber, an Oklahoma State Representative, delivered the keynote speech, sharing her legislative work and her belief in helping communities thrive. Suzanne, a former school board member and Oklahoma legislator, shared her recent accomplishments and ongoing projects. She emphasized her commitment to patient-centric policies and punctuated her efforts to improve mammography billing and language, promote price transparency in healthcare, and address the shortage of affordable childcare in Oklahoma. 

“As a woman, as a mother, having been a teen, having teenagers being in the workplace with other women and everything I do in life, this is a part of who we are. [and so] Making it normalized, and a part of our daily life and supporting women in their menstrual cycle, is so important.”

Rep Suzanne Schreiber

Rep Suzanne Schreiber also proposed initiatives to support and incentivize workers in the childcare sector, including increasing wages and offering tax credits to employers who share the cost of childcare. She underscored the importance of evaluating the impact of potential legislation on various stakeholders before enacting it. Schreiber discussed the importance of considering the impact on women and families, particularly in regards to menstrual health, when creating policies. 

Addressing Gender Equality and Menstrual Health

Hawa Diallo, a United Nations staff member with experience in civil society engagement, shared her personal connection to the topic and the need for a collaborative effort to address gender inequality and promote women’s health. She also expressed concern about the lack of gender equality in the upcoming ‘Future Generations’ summit’s agenda. 

“It’s heartwarming that both men and women, young boys and girls can talk about women’s health, hygiene, and period poverty. That’s something that did not happen when I was growing up.”

Oklahoma State Representative Monroe Nichols, campaigning to become Tulsa’s 40th mayor, addressed the health equity gap in Tulsa and the need for a community-centered approach to improve policies. He also highlighted the role of government officials in securing resources and the importance of community-led advocacy.

“We have a huge gap in equity, as it relates to access and outcomes and healthcare. We know in this [African American] community that the percentage of white Tulsans, for example, with health insurance is 35% higher than that of Hispanics while the black infant mortality rate is twice that as other Tulsans.”

Improving Workplace Equity, Femtech Reporting, and Menstrual Health

Michelle Simmons introduced Kyle Smith, a partner relationship manager from Builders and Backers and Zaakirah Muhammad, a renowned storyteller, and discussed their experiences and views on improving workplace equity and inclusion. 

“Listen and communicate with the women in your life,”

Kyle Smith states

A panel moderated by Chaste Inegbedion featuring Kelsey N. Nelson, Helaine Olen, Ese Ofurhie, and Marlou Cornelissen discussed Femtech reporting best practices, the stigma around periods in sports, and the changing conversation around menstrual health. Cornelissen, a newcomer to the Femtech community, emphasized the importance of collaboration and bringing global attention to grassroots work. 

Abdoul Byukusenge discussed his involvement in the UN’s SDGs, emphasizing the importance of addressing community frustrations and his personal background as a native of Rwanda. Abdoul stressed the importance of making menstrual products accessible and affordable to all, especially women in underprivileged communities, calling for government and business collaboration to address this issue. 

Menstrual Health and Femtech Funding Challenges

Srijita Ghosh shared her journey from founding a startup to becoming a venture advisor, while Srijita discussed femtech funding, the challenges faced by women-specific health tech companies, and the significance of finding the right strategic partners and investors. Srijita also pointed out the need for more awareness and understanding of these issues and committed to sharing additional resources with the attendees. How do we unlock the next 100 million in funding for femtech founders in menstrual health technology?

“I care about femtech because these types of technologies, these companies, these founders, are going to be the ones to break a lot of the generational barriers and provide the empowerment back in the hands of women, not just through help, but also for their economic empowerment.”

Deepa’s Endometriosis Experience and App Sheet

Deepa Subramanian introduced app sheets, no-code resolution, and AI to address endometriosis in menstrual health. Deepa shared her personal experience with endometriosis, the lack of effective non-surgical treatments and the need for greater awareness of the condition. She also introduced Google’s App Sheet as a tool for creating mobile and web applications without the need for coding skills. Deepa demonstrated how to create an endometriosis symptom tracker using App Sheet and discussed the potential of integrating AI through machine learning models to enhance these applications. She emphasized the benefits of these applications, including offline use and deployment on various devices. Deepa discussed the impact of endometriosis on women’s health and productivity, and the disproportionate distribution of research funding towards it.

Gen Z Women and Inclusive Workplaces

The conversation consisted of speakers from various backgrounds who focused on the challenges faced by Gen Z women in the workforce, with a focus on creating inclusive environments. THe conversation was moderated by Priscilla Siwela, a native of Zimbabwe. Lyzianah Emakoua, a native of Cameroon, addressed systemic barriers such as the ones on the continent of Africa. Ayana Gardner, a millennial and employee of Zoom, mentioned the company’s Employee Resource Groups and their initiatives to empower and connect Gen Z women. Olive Kabeya, a native of the Democratic Republic of Congo and a legislative assistant at the Maryland Governor’s Office, shared initiatives aimed at empowering women and enhancing workplace dynamics. 

Michelle Simmons discussed the mental and menstrual health concerns within the LGBTQIA community, and the unique challenges transgender diverse individuals face in attaining menstrual health care. 

Menstrual Health and Workplace Policies Discussion

Zaakirah Muhammad initiated a discussion on the importance of implementing policies that support menstrual health in the workplace and shared examples of successful implementation by companies and the societal pressure on women resulting in PCOS awareness and the ‘superwoman syndrome’. 

“My PCOS journey led me right here, on this virtual stage to share my story because I know that there’s so many women out there who still don’t have allies in their workplace.”

Zaakirah Muhammad

A panel consisting of Cordelia Gaffar, Funmi Eko, and Dr. Carmen McNeil shared their experiences and perspectives on women’s health and wellness in the workplace. The conversation stressed the need for awareness, understanding, and equity in the workplace, with a focus on menstrual health, mental health balance, and the challenges faced by working mothers. Dr. Carmen McNeil said, “We have to normalize these conversations. We have to promote open, respectful dialogue through awareness. Educational workshops help people really have body positivity and understanding how the menstrual cycle is really just a guide for self care.

Overall, Sanicle’s Menstrual Health Summit brought together experts, policymakers, and advocates to address the pressing need for comprehensive menstrual health support. The discussions highlighted the importance of collaboration, policy changes, and community-centered approaches to improve access to menstrual products, addressing period poverty, and advancing gender health equity. By empowering employees to utilize their health benefits and promoting inclusivity in the workplace, the Sanicle AI platform aims to create a more supportive ecosystem for menstrual health for Menstrual Hygiene Day and beyond. 

Sanicle’s mission is to make healthcare more accessible, personalized, and supportive, especially concerning menstrual health and women’s wellness. Through technology, we empower women to take control of their health and well-being.

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