FOR many women these days, a personal ambition to excel in the workplace, alongside perhaps, a desire to start a family, has for a long time presented a complicated maze of decisions and lack of possibilities.
It can be difficult to advance in a chosen career path if a mother suddenly has to take time off to look after kids. And on top of that, what also makes it difficult for a woman to be successful is that it’s not unusual for bosses to promote and hire male colleagues over female ones, because they simply believe that the woman might one day become pregnant and need leave. Such lines of thinking, which are alive and kicking in today’s “modern society”, leave women really struggling to prove that they are dedicated to their job and worth promoting. So much so, that some women even put off babies forever, or until they are satisfied that they have had enough of a career.
Two high-technology companies in America however have caused a stir this week since announcing that alongside yearly bonuses and education reimbursements, Facebook and Apple are also going to offer female staff the option of freezing their eggs. A typical round of egg freezing costs about €8,000, with €400 or more in fees each year for storage. And the tech giants are willing to pay for it all.
Obviously the new health benefits have raised a few eyebrows, with many speculating that the measures are a way to encourage female staff not to start a family and just work around the clock. Plus, leaving motherhood till later is more complicated for all women.
For women that are not ready to have babies, the new measure is fantastic, but if Apple and Facebook really want to encourage motherhood, then why not introduce a plan that allows men to take an extended paternity leave so that they can also look after the children? Share the responsibility, not just force women into making a difficult decision.
The technology world is a male dominated industry and both Facebook and Apple have recently released statistics saying that at least 70 per cent of their workforce is male, so it seems this surprising new “benefit” is in order to try and retain more female staff.