Facebook and Apple have recently made headlines in regard to a new benefit they are offering their female employees.
They announced that they are offering to pay up to $20,000 for their employees to freeze their reproductive eggs. The question is: Is this an employee or employer benefit?
In a statement made by Apple they explained that this new option was an expansion of their benefits to women, but this would only benefit women who want to put off having a family and children in order to advance their careers.
The idea that women can’t have a family and achieve successful positions in companies is an outdated social and cultural issue.
Offering this option, subtly suggests that this would be in the best interest of their employees.
Many college students may wonder why they should care considering having babies isn’t their top priority right now, but Facebook and Apple are popular companies that could be their future employers and could also influence other companies to do the same.
This could be something that affects many college females within the next few years.
Egg freezing is a fairly new technology that has bodily risks and high rates of failure. Women who undergo this procedure will face risks from drugs and egg retrieval procedures.
In order to get as many eggs as recommended, women must inject themselves with hormones for weeks and there are no long term studies to show how this affects the mother and child later on.
The chances of even getting pregnant are also extremely low with only about 3 out of 10 women, according to Mayo Clinic.
In order to be successful in one’s career, long and hard work must be put in but does this mean that one has to be available around the clock until the age of 35?
With all of today’s technology, companies should try to accommodate women and their families better rather than suggest they freeze their eggs in order for them to be at the office longer.
Women can freeze their eggs but what about men? An article in the journal “Nature” said that “with every passing year, men’s sperm is more likely to contain harmful genetic mutations that contribute to their child’s risk of autism and schizophrenia.”
By not providing men with the same options and benefits, these companies are suggesting that men do not play as big of a role in the child’s life.
The balance of family and work is a serious problem and a social issue many women have to deal with as they enter their mid 20s.
“Women in their twenties are least likely to have developed chronic health problems that would put them or their babies at risk, and they have the lowest rates of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth, and infertility.
But early pregnancy doesn’t work well in today’s society, which is organized around smaller families and more full-time employment for women.
If pregnancy occurs too early, social difficulties often follow,” said John Mirowsky, a sociologist at the University of Texas at Austin.
In an ideal world, women would be able to have children, put their careers on pause and continue them after their child was to start school but that just isn’t the case.
Rather than spending thousands of dollars on a procedure that might not even work, companies could invest in better options that would benefit them and their employees even more so.
They could offer women and their spouses extended parental leaves, more flexible working hours or even child care at their workplace.
These options could be a start to fixing the problem.