Early last week two of the biggest names in the technology world – Apple Inc. and Facebook Inc. – revealed that they will pay for their female employees to freeze their eggs.
In a statement, Apple said that they will “continue to expand our benefits for women, with a new extended maternity leave policy, along with cryopreservation and egg storage as part of our extensive support for infertility treatments”. They also offer this option to both part- and full-time employees, taking the company’s work benefits to a whole new level.
Image credit Global Egg Registry
It is believed this will attract more top talent and skilled female engineers to their companies in the current competitive job market. That is, while the option to freeze their eggs is increasing in popularity between working women, this is still one quite pricey procedure. Freezing your eggs is removing a woman’s eggs and cooling them to subzero temperatures to preserve them for future use and stop the egg from changing and developing. This can cost you up to $10,000 plus $500 for storage per year. The attractiveness of the offer comes from the fact that a lot of business women would like to delay child bearing further into their lives, without having the medical complications that this could bring.
Although this is quite a new practise, it is fairly easy to see why it could be seen as a positive step in female empowerment – more and more women would like to have the same option their male counterparts enjoy. That is, to choose when to have children without their careers having to suffer from it. However, others might see it as a cheap trick on part of the companies to attract female workers without the danger of them suddenly going on a maternity leave.
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