SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Apple and Facebook are offering female employees the ‘perk’ of paying to freeze their eggs.
Facebook recently began to cover egg-freezing for non-medical reasons, as revealed by an NBC News report. This is believed to make it one of the first employers in the tech sector to offer this.
The perk started after employees requested it, according to a Facebook spokeswoman.
Apple says that from January 2015 it will pay employees up to $20,000 for the egg harvesting procedure and associated annual storage costs.
“We want to empower women at Apple to do the best work of their lives as they care for loved ones and raise their families,” said Apple in a statement.
Freezing eggs gives women more flexibility about when they have children.
This is because fertility is age-dependent: the eggs of a 30-year-old women are more likely to lead to conception than those of a 40-year-old.
However, many professional women feel that their prime childbearing years are also their prime career development years, and that having children means that they effectively have to pause their careers.
Women who might want to delay having children can then feel more confident that they will be able to do so if they freeze their eggs when they are younger to use at a later date – but it can be a prohibitively expensive option.
However, critics are concerned that this may put pressure on women to work through their most fertile years, and that companies should instead focus on being more flexible about working hours for new parents.