Enhancing women’s workplace experiences by reimagining the restroom

Kimberly-Clark Professional recognized that, despite dramatic evolutions in male/female workforce composition and office design, one basic but crucial facility – the restroom – had experienced little change over time. Believing all workspaces can impact the employee experience, they set out to elevate the restroom experience, specifically for women. Toward this goal, Kimberly-Clark Professional partnered with Brandtrust to uncover the deeper human truths anchoring female employee experiences and to reimagine optimal restroom design.


The combination of Emotional Inquiry to reveal the crucial, underlying psychological drivers and Contextual Inquiry to provide essential physical/functional insights revealed that the washroom plays three important roles for women in the workplace. Ranging from a sacred sanctuary to an egalitarian space to a transitional backstage, the restroom is anything but an afterthought in female employee experiences.


Emergent insights anchored the development of an innovation platform for reimagining the women’s washroom, including actionable truths for all targets: the washroom user, the facility manager, and the larger organization. Additionally, a tiered operational strategy positioned Kimberly-Clark Professional to organize newly imagined products and services according to user needs and business priorities.


Ultimately, Kimberly-Clark Professional partnered with key customers and leveraged product brands to redesign women’s restrooms according to the innovation platform and unlock new brand opportunities. These efforts not only enhanced the experience for female employees but reframed and enhanced Kimberly-Clark Professional’s facilities partnerships to better support women in the workplace.