Apple, Facebook Offer Egg-Freezing Benefit To Employees

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Apple and Facebook have taken steps toward a new, but controversial, benefit for female employees, vowing to cover up to $20,000 for egg-freezing procedures.

Egg freezing is a process in which a woman’s eggs are extracted, frozen and stored until she’s ready to conceive a child. Eggs can later be thawed, fertilized and replaced in the uterus. Now, some companies are offering to cover the process as a “perk” of employment.

Since one cycle can cost anywhere from $6,500 to $15,000, the coverage might be appealing to certain potential employees. Still, providing coverage for egg freezing isn’t the same as dental benefits, leading some to speculate why Apple and Facebook might chose such a process.

According to feminist blogger Glosswitch, companies who offer egg freezing options allow women to compete with men in their field by helping avoid unplanned pregnancies. Additionally, Silicon Valley companies are always racing to attract the most skilled and talented employees, meaning that a diverse range of benefits could draw those types of candidates.

Others have argued that offering the benefit, however, is simply a way to extract more working hours from employees. Additionally, delaying childbearing until later in life can have negative medical implications, and can often be more difficult later in life.

The Huffington Post pointed out that a successful pregnancy using frozen eggs is not always guaranteed, and it’s certainly not cheap. The news site also noted that by delaying parenthood, companies like Apple and Facebook are creating a workplace environment that excludes parenthood and family life. Instead, the site suggested that companies make workloads reasonable and support working parents, or even employees who have other interests outside of work.

Source: The Huffington Post


 
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