Apple And Facebook To Pay For Egg-Freezing Of Women Employees
There has, no doubt, been a negative bias towards the female percentage in the IT industry since forever. But advancement of technology and reach to maximum students has now shifted the paradigm to some extent. Compared to the yesteryears’ negligible female contribution in the IT sector, the amount of female percentage has increased considerably over time.
But it is not just interest variation that causes a low number of women to enter this challenging industry. It is also their social life, like maternity leaves and the child care, that interferes with their performance in their jobs. Many women tend to leave their jobs for a while to spend quality time with their family and look after their children, which becomes exceedingly tough considering the busy time schedule of IT industry.
Many companies do offer child care policies and services, and even waive off some kind of fees or any other benefit so that women may feel encouraged to utilize these resources, and continue working in the company without having to compromise.
Two of these companies belong to the Silicon Valley and have a major share in the market – Facebook and Apple. These companies have now come up with new policies to utilize the young minds of women to the fullest. However, women are most active and innovative during their golden age of fertility, that is 20-35 years. And Facebook and Apple are now going to freeze the eggs of these women for up to 10 years so that the young brains of these intelligent women may be used without any impediment.
This process of egg-freezing is not a new one though, it’s first successful implementation was made in 1986. Egg freezing (“oocyte cryopreservation”) is an elective process, made with the consent of the woman specifically.
This means that hormones are injected into the woman’s system during her peak fertile age so that more reproductive eggs could be produced, compared to the normal production of eggs in a cycle. These eggs are then extracted and frozen under optimal conditions for a specific period of time, which may even be 10 years. When the woman believes she’s ready to put family before career, the eggs are defrosted, fertilized with the sperm and re-implanted back into the woman’s body.
Though the first successful birth (twins) after this technique occurred in 1986, this process is still not considered reliable and is under the “experimental” heading. Moreover, the process is extremely expensive, where freezing of just one cycle costs $10,000. So in case any young woman is looking forward to take up this experiment, working at Facebook and Apple might be the answer. Talk about marketing methods.
Though supporters of technology have generally commended this move, many concerned health doctors and gynecologists have raised their concerns biologically. Egg freezing is not a reliable method of ensuring pregnancy in the later years because it is a natural process, and this kind of tampers with it.
Moreover, the sperm’s tendency reduces with age. Plus forcing women to delay childbirth and decide when to have a child is not going to be accepted that easily, because that’s like controlling the entire life of an employee.
Source: NBC News