In a groundbreaking announcement today, Apple and Facebook now will offer health coverage for their women employees to freeze their eggs. Egg freezing enables women to protect and preserve their fertility until they are ready to become parents—and with the steep price of $10,000+, this coverage may be seen as a significant investment in women. Climbing the corporate ladder while raising a family can be a significant barrier for many women and the coverage to freeze one’s eggs provides women with the choice and freedom to devote time to work and to one’s family. However, is this potentially pushing women to focus on their careers as primary and family as secondary?
Egg-freezing has reportedly doubled over the past year as women continue to seek this as a solution to longer fertility years. Indeed, the option to freeze one’s eggs has spurred feelings of empowerment in women, Emma Rosenblum even writing, “Not since the birth control pill has a medical technology had such potential to change family and career planning.” This perk may encourage women to stay with their employer longer, devote crucial “fertile years” to their work, and plan to start a family when they are ready–indeed, other companies may be following suit in the near future. Women often report barriers surrounding a seeming choice between work or family. The action of Apple and Facebook is intended to alleviate some stress surrounding career and family planning, while empowering women with the more choices and control in life. While positive in their intentions, some may read Apple’s and Facebook’s new announcement as potentially implying that women should focus on their careers first and family planning second. Whatever the implications, this is certainly an game-changing announcement.
Source: NBC News