We’ve all heard of increased maternity and paternity leave, onsite creches and flexible working hours for parents, but now two major companies are offering even more.
Facebook and Apple are giving their female employees the chance to freeze their eggs, and they’ll even foot the bill.
It is thought that the two companies have decided to do this for their females employees because by freezing their eggs, women can concentrate on their career, knowing that when they do want to start a family, their eggs will be waiting for them.
Facebook has already starting the freezing process whilst Apple intend to offer it from January 2015. Egg freezing specialist and founder of Eggsurance Brigitte Adams said:
“Having a high-powered career and children is still a very hard thing to do.”
Costs associated with eggs freezing are around $10,000 for every freeze and then there’s about $500 for the annual storage fees. The two companies are offering the freezing package under slightly different terms, with Apple placing it under their fertility benefit, and Facebook under its surrogacy benefit.
For many women, whatever the package is termed under, there is no doubt that this is deemed to be some sort of ‘payback’ for their service and for them putting their motherhood on hold for their careers. This is however, no guarantee that any woman will have a baby with a frozen egg.
Standards and techniques have improved over the last decade, and the procedure is no longer classed as experimental, but there are some groups that caution against relying on frozen eggs for reproduction. And some doctors advise that women should freeze at least 20 eggs to ensure there are enough viable ones for insemination purposes.
Having children and having to take time off work is seen as a game changer in terms of career, especially in key management roles, but does it really matter at what stage in your career you take the time off? You cannot wait for too long to have children so how does freezing your eggs actually help?
A Bloomberg Business week magazine cover story earlier this year asked the same question – ‘Will freezing your eggs free your career?’ There are some women that think it will. Others think it is more like an insurance policy. You hope you’ll never need them, but its nice to have them there in case you do.
Whatever the outcome of women freezing their eggs, with Facebook and Apple taking the lead in women’s fertility issues, it can only mean good things for women’s right within the workplace, and we applaud that.