Today, everyone’s talking about egg-freezing.
Because apparently, it’s the silver-bullet for women who want a big career in the glimmering, money-encrusted compounds of Silicon Valley.
Breaking new ground in the employee-perks department, Facebook and more recently, Apple, are offering to fund retrieving and freezing a woman’s eggs as part of her employee benefit scheme, effectively allowing women the chance to delay motherhood and focus on her career.
Wow, and here I was thinking that Google and their sleep pods were progressive…
Philip Chenette, a fertility specialist in San Francisco, spoke to NBC this week about the notoriously male-dominated Silicon Valley firms who were competing to attract top female talent.
“The coverage may give Apple and Facebook a leg up among the many women who devote key childbearing years to building careers. Covering egg freezing can be viewed as a type of “payback” for women’s commitment.”
When this topic came up for discussion in the Mamamia office this morning, we were pretty much split down the middle. Half were of the “What a great way to support women in the workplace” camp and the other half were of the “isn’t this just a trick to get women to work really, really hard through their child-bearing years,” persuasion.
With the cost of egg retrieval procedure being $10,000 (US) and annual storage, $500 (US) per year, Facebook and Apple have factored these costs into differently-defined benefit schemes but the one characteristic they both have in common is that they are incentivising NOT starting a family too young. With this incentive, Facebook and Apple are basically saying “we know that your eggs are at their healthiest at “X” time in your life, but we figure if we are able to help you put them on ice and as a result, turn off that internal ticking biological clock, you’ll be able to continue on your career path of choice.”
Egg-freezing advocate Brigitte Adams told NBC News
“The offer shows the Silicon Valley giants are investing in women and supporting their lifestyle choices.”