So, Apple and Facebook are to offer to pay for female staff to freeze their eggs as part of a concerted effort to expand the “benefits” they offer to women – but is egg freezing a benefit? Does it really “empower” women? Is offering them something that is so uncertain to enable them to keep working through their most fertile years really to be commended? Is it egg freezing that women want, or is it working environments which make it easier for them to consider starting families earlier in life?
I can’t help thinking that when big companies offer to fund egg freezing for staff, it gives the whole concept a credibility it may not deserve. No one can be certain that they have “preserved” their fertility by freezing eggs – it’s still a relatively new technique, and outcomes are far from certain – but women are being encouraged to believe that this can solve the problem of the female biological clock.
The other side of this, which didn’t get as much media coverage, is that Apple and Facebook also offer funding for fertility treatment and sperm donation – and that is something that I can see being far more helpful to far more women.
What do you think? Would you welcome a company funding egg freezing? Would you like your employer to pay for fertility treatment? Or is it all just one intrusion too many into your private life?