Video Game marketplace GOG, that is wholly owned by CD Projekt, recently announced they will offer paid menstrual leave “for all menstruating employees,” with CD Projekt considering it for themselves.

Source: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (2015), CD Projekt

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“We’re happy to announce that, effective today, we’re implementing Menstrual Leave for all menstruating employees of GOG,” the digital distributor announced via LinkedIn

“Menstrual Leave fosters inclusiveness by accepting that there are biological differences in the workplace,” GOG continued. “By giving additional days off for those experiencing menstrual period pain, we acknowledge these symptoms are real.”

Source: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (2015), CD Projekt

​”​Breaking taboos can only be done by speaking up and making an awkward topic a normal conversation,” GOG proposed.

“Implementing Menstrual Leave is yet another step towards making GOG an even more inclusive workplace, and we won’t stop in our continuous efforts to learn, reflect and improve on how we can do better for all of our Team members.”

Source: GOG, LinkedIn

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GOG Culture and Communication Manager Gabriela Siemienkowicz told Axios that while the company estimates the new policy will result in an additional day off per quarter, it would allow employees time off  “whenever period pains occur.” The paid time off is also available per-hour, rather than an entire day.

Siemienkowicz admits the policy is “experimental in a sense that we plan to evaluate in what way those additional days off impact the well-being of our menstruating employees at the end of 2022, and consider expanding the policy in the upcoming year.”

Source: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (2015), CD Projekt

The scheme was also inspired by Siemienkowicz’ own experiences with a painful period, and brought up the subject in a “Women of GOG” meeting, only to learn she wasn’t the only one.

“We shared the same view on this matter and would appreciate the possibility to simply lay down and take most of the day off without sacrificing one of the regular paid absence days we have available throughout the year,” Siemienkowicz explained.

Source: Cyberpunk 2077 (2020), CD Projekt

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After echoing the “biological differences” and “acknowledging symptoms are real” comments from the statement, Siemienkowicz claims the initial response to the policy has been overwhelmingly positive.

Even so, she admits there’s “still much work to be done, and our efforts towards making GOG a more inclusive workplace do not end here.” For example, conversations internally have indicated “menstruation is still a taboo to some, which results in misinformation and unconscious bias.”

Source: Cyberpunk 2077

“I can only hope that this policy will serve as a sign that GOG is an inclusive company that respects individual needs of its employees and that everyone can feel both safe and appreciated here,” Siemienkowicz concluded with Axios.

Radek Grabowski, PR Director for GOG parent company CD Projekt, spoke to PC Gamer, revealing the policy may make it’s way up the chain. “GOG is spearheading this initiative, and we’re looking into it further for the whole CD Projekt.”

Source: Cyberpunk 2077 (2020), CD Projekt

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After the disastrous launch of Cyberpunk 2077, anonymous CD Projekt Red employees speaking to Bloomberg claimed in 2020 and 2021 that there were harsh working conditions at the company.

These included crunch time, six day work weeks towards the end of development, “poor planning and technical shortcomings,” only speaking Polish in staff meetings despite some staff only speaking English, and “faking” the Cyberpunk 2077’s E3 2018 demo.

Source: Cyberpunk 2077

In a conference call with investors, CD Projekt Red SVP of business development Michał Nowakowski reportedly responded to these reports by asserting, “We’re not really making any comments to what somebody else has stated about what’s going on in the studio outside.”

These allegations may be what led to the 2021 “Strategy Update” from CD Projekt Group. There they assured investors that they were also working to minimize stress and burnout via hosted well-being workshops, staff-elected representatives to speak on behalf of their teams, and bolstering inclusivity and diversity efforts.

Source: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (2015), CD Projekt

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    Ryan Pearson

    Taking his first steps onto Route 1 and never stopping, Ryan has had a love of RPGs since a young age. Now he's learning to appreciate a wider pallet of genres and challenges.

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