There was a time when lunch vouchers were considered a perk and you were really on the pig’s back getting your entire family covered on your company health insurance but the post on NBC news about Apple and Facebook paying for female employees to freeze their eggs has to be the most revolting talent attraction / staff retention incentive I have ever heard, read or seen.
A checklist for anyone seriously considering ‘egg-freezing’:
- So if you go with Facebook’s surrogacy benefit, like the contentious ownership of photos shared on the social network, will Facebook own the eggs?
- So if you go with Apple’s fertility benefit, will a digital version of the eggs be distributed free of charge to half a billion people via iTunes, with or without an uninstall button?
- Will the birth go viral and that very personal content go AWOL on the cloud?
- Can we expect a couple of hundred live ‘Truman Show’ style online programmes of the lives of these hatched eggs?
- Similar to employee stock options, will there be clause like if you leave the company less than four years after the egg has hatched, does the company keep the child?
Jokes aside, I’m all for equal rights for both genders but apparently if you’re interested in equal rights for women, it’s called feminism (in a hushed subversive militant tone). I’m also all for choice and people of any gender making large life decisions independently and not subsidised by self serving employers.
I also wonder if conception is the key concern facing working mothers or would addressing issues such as maternity leave, parental leave, workplace equality, career advancement, flexibility, work life balance be more welcome/constructive?
One might also wonder if companies are willing to subsidise the deferral of motherhood, would they also be willing to subsidise the termination of unwanted pregnancies to allow their female employees to focus on their careers?
Empowerment? I despair.