Apple Inc is following Facebook by offering to help its female employees by paying them to freeze their eggs, making them focus more on their careers by offering them the perks to have children later in life.
The service was provided by Facebook in January. Cupertino, California based Apple will start offering the facility from January next year, and will covers costs under its fertility benefit.
The California-based social network Facebook offers $20,000 per employee, under its surrogacy benefit.
“Apple cares deeply about our employees and their families, and we are always looking at new ways our health programmes can meet their needs,” said spokeswoman Kristin Huguet.
“With notoriously male-dominated Silicon Valley firms competing to attract top female talent, the coverage may give Apple and Facebook a leg up among the many women who devote key childbearing years to building careers. Covering egg freezing can be viewed as a type of ‘payback’ for women’s commitment, said San Francisco fertility specialist, Philip Chenette.
Many women, in their most fertile years prefers to establish their career and the pressure of carrying a baby and having a family might obstruct her from doing so. Thus egg freezing provides a way out of it.
But the freezing process and the following ART (Assisted Reproductive Treatments) are not simple one to opt for. Though the freezing does not degrade the quality of the egg, but with aging the uterus isn’t that young that it was at the time egg was rendered for fertilization. Pregnancy at a later stage and raising the offspring when its the time to think about a secure retirement, is in a way more difficult. The process might also involve the risk of pre-eclampsia, heart issues and diabetes post pregnancy.
Egg-freezing is rather an expensive process costing at least $10,000, per round of egg-harvesting. Doctors suggests at least two rounds to increase the success rate, adding around $500 a year for storing the eggs.
“We continue to expand our benefits for women, with a new extended maternity leave policy, along with cyropreservation and egg storage as part of our extensive support for infertility treatments,” added the spokesperson.
“We also offer an Adoption Assistance programme, where Apple reimburses eligible expenses associated with the legal adoption of a child.
“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.”
Facebook spokeswoman Genevieve Grdina said that the company also provides benefits like an on campus nursing rooms and subsidized day care. After a baby is born or adopted, both mother or father will be provided with 4 months of paid parental leave and $4,000 as a “baby cash” payment.
Companies like Google and Intel offers ping pong tables, drycleaning and on-site child care.
The move comes as a technique to recruit and retain women in the male-dominated silicon valley.
The news raised a series of conflict on social media questioning delaying of the childbirth in favor of their careers and is it reflecting that parenting and a good career are ill-matched?