CD Projekt exploring paid menstrual leave after implementation at GOG

CD Projekt is looking into applying a menstrual leave policy across the company after its digital distribution subsidiary, GOG.com, announced they would offer paid menstrual leave to their employees earlier this month.

The initiative, spearheaded by GOG’s culture and communications manager Gabriela Siemienkowicz, has been hailed as a move towards building a more inclusive work environment that recognizes the different biological challenges that menstruating employees face, while also breaking down taboos and biases about menstruation. The move comes as part of a bigger industry wide conversation about working conditions and inclusivity.

Originally announced in a GOG LinkedIn post at the start of April, a more detailed look at how GOG was applying the policy came out yesterday in a piece for Axios by Megan Farokhmanesh. Farokhmanesh noted on Twitter that the language GOG uses is “menstruating employees,” – language that does not limit the definition of who gets periods to just “women” or “female employees.”

According to Siemienkowicz, response to the measure internally has been positive and illuminating in breaking down unspoken taboos and misinformation. Siemiekowicz said GOG is examining how the measure will impact the well being of their employees with an eye towards expanding the policy over the coming year.

GOG menstrual leave
GOG.com offices in Warsaw. Taken from Glassdoor.

Other comments on GOG’s LinkedIn post have been less positive, calling it the opposite of inclusivity and discrimination. The topic of menstrual leave has raised the eyebrows of some, saying that it would make menstruating people seem less productive or competitive.

Follow up reporting by PC Gamer indicates CD Projekt is watching GOG’s initiative, and according to Radek Grabowski, PR director at CD Projekt, they are “looking into it further for the whole CD Projekt.”

This is an interesting addition to the changing culture of work, in which once ubiquitous crunch and death march work hours are increasingly understood to be unhealthy and unsustainable, and topics like unionization, remote work, and healthy workplace cultures are increasingly coming to the foreground.

It’s jarring in a good way, as I can remember a time when GOG’s social media presence was embroiled in transphobia and misogyny, it’ll be interesting to see if the measure spreads to CD Projekt. We’ve seen how crunch and the rush to push out Cyberpunk 2077 to meet tight deadlines was detrimental to the game and the people behind it, so here’s hoping that the decision at GOG to approve paid menstrual leave and a more equitable treatment of menstruating workers becomes a part of these changing norms.