[written by Ryan Hicks]
In a new workplace development for female employees, companies are offering to pay for egg freezing. The procedure involves harvesting and storing eggs during a woman’s peak reproductive years so that she may become pregnant at a time better suited to her career.
The move comes as big companies are looking for ways to make their employees more productive. Many women who decide to have a family early on in their careers can experience big set-backs in their career aspirations when taking time off for child care. By waiting longer to have children, more women can better their financial situation without sacrificing their most fertile years.
The two big pioneers in the policy are Facebook and Apple who in addition to offering egg freezing provide may perks for parents to be. These perks include time off for both men and women, and provide “baby cash” sums upwards of $4,000. The policies cover reproductive health services for men as well.
While many could the move to freeze eggs as a way of controlling the lives of employees, this is not quite the case. Employees who wish to have kids in their 20s and 30s may still do so, receiving all the benefits for child care as any other employee. The egg freezing is but one option in many for workers wishing to start a family.
The move to offer egg freezing by the two tech giants has been very influential. More and more companies are offering this option after looking into Google and Apple’s policies. The procedures are quite costly however, with the egg extraction costing around $10-15,000, and storage costs of $500 per year. If an employee leaves the company or is fired, the company will no longer pay for the service, and the employee will either have to continue the storage payments, or use the eggs.
However, it should be noted that even with all the advances in the science of reproduction, the procedures are not 100% effective. Relying on this method down the road is a risk women will have to take, again making the decision to start a family a difficult one to make.