It's not often that a headline is stuck in my head and I can't shake it. This week, it's happened. No, it's not the horrible news about Ebola or ISIS. It's not Chelsea Clinton's baby. Those are interesting, but are not taking up all of my mindshare.
I just can't shake reading the headline "Company-Paid Egg Freezing Will Be the Great Equalizer" in Time. The article talks about how companies like Apple and Facebook are offering the benefit of egg freezing as an "equalizer" for their female employees vs. their male counterparts.
On one hand, I do see how this can be a "benefit." IF you wanted to delay child bearing and IF cost was the only thing getting in your way, it's really nice for a company to pay for you to get your eggs frozen.
But, and this is a big BUT... I think this sets a horrible tone to send to female employees and can quickly go down a very slippery slope. I can't help but think that as time goes on, there will become a culture where people believe that if you are really dedicated to your job, you will go through an invasive procedure to have your eggs frozen and be an "older" mom. There will be pressure for women to delay childbearing even though there are real social and physical risks for having children later. Per Dr. Richard Paulson on Baby Center, there are higher risks of miscarriage and other health issues over the age of 35.
I have spent the last 10 years of my life finding flexible work for professionals through Mom Corps. As time has gone on and companies are focusing on acquiring the best talent for their organizations, I have seen a lot of creativity when it comes to workplace flexibility in both time, duration and place. It feels that our companies have come so far in realizing that face time does not dictate productivity.
It saddens me that in 2014, two of our most progressive and influential companies, Apple and Facebook, have decided to send the message to their female employees to delay childbirth to get ahead. What happened to workplace flexibility and using the technology that both Apple and Facebook have invented to allow professionals the flexibility to have a career and a family... at the same time?
How do you feel about this decision?