October 24, 2014
Facebook and Apple are two brands known for their desire to push the boundaries and innovate. Their contemporary work ethics include offering the very best perks and bonuses to employees in the hope that, in turn, they will attract the very best talent.
So how about this for a perk – high-achieving female professionals are now being offered the option to ‘press pause’ on their fertility, and Facebook and Apple are leading the trend. They are offering up to $20,000 towards egg freezing for non-medical reasons in the hope that top female talent will dedicate their lives to work – not childcare – during their natural childbearing years. It seems an (almost) unbelievable length to go to.
Is this a smart move from the media giants, or one step too far? Is it even fair to ask women to consider the option – to choose so definitely between career and family? It could alter the whole family structure – parents will be less able to care for their children as old age and potential ill health sets in, and will inevitably live fewer years with them. But with the option freely available, this is a trend that is increasingly popular with working women.
The practice has quadrupled in the last four years alone, and despite the fact that it gives women more choice, it feels like an unsettling trend and unnecessary pressure. Where do we draw the line? Could it ever get to the point where prospective employers can ask women whether they are willing to go through this procedure when hiring?
Perhaps my main concern is that if all women chose to freeze their eggs, it would be entirely unsustainable and could cause a complete social meltdown, i.e. the possibility of a missing generation. It’s lucky that these brands haven’t entirely taken over the world. Yet.
by Lara Murphy