Egg Freezing as a Perk for Female Employees Is a Fantastic Idea

While more and more women are entering STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields these days, there's still a noticeable discrepancy when it comes to the gender gap. Basically ... the menfolk dominate. But now some of the most recognized tech companies in the world are changing the way they think about benefits in order to attract female employees.

Silicone Valley giants Apple and Facebook will now pay for some elective fertility treatments, including egg-freezing. Facebook recently implemented the new policy, and Apple will reportedly begin doing so as well in January.

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Brigitte Adams is an egg-freezing advocate and the founder of patient forum Eggsurance.com, and she thinks this is a fantastic way for companies to invest in women and support them. "Having a high-powered career and children is still a very hard thing to do," she said. She believes this shift in medical coverage will help women to carve out the "lives they want."

It's not a small perk either.

It costs $10,000 or more for every round of retrieval, and storage fees will run around $500 a year. Plus, there's no guarantee that a baby will result from any of the frozen ovums. Success rates have improved by leaps and bounds in recent years though, enough so that the American Society of Reproductive Medicine no longer considers egg-freezing "experimental."

This is beyond brilliant in my opinion. It's a fantastic option to woo women into fields they may not have otherwise entered. Fertility specialist Philip Chenette says that the ability for women to freeze our eggs is a key to "leveling the playing field" between men and women, career-wise.

Think about it ... prime childbearing years for women are the 20s -- also prime career building years for either gender. The vast majority of women who have frozen their eggs have described feeling "empowered" by it, and feel they have more freedom when it comes to making life choices.

No, this isn't likely to change someone's mind who feels ready to try for a baby right now, but it's a pretty spectacular option for women who don't want to feel the intense pressure of a ticking biological clock. Of course there's a risk it won't work out in the future -- but there's always a risk involved in any life decision you make. You just can't know how the future is going to turn out.

But it's nice, as a woman, to know that we don't have to keep all of our eggs in one basket anymore.

Would you take advantage of this perk if your company offered it?

 

Image via Steve wilson/Flickr

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