Two of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies, Apple and Facebook, are attempting to lure and keep valuable female employees by offering to pay women to freeze their eggs, Apple under its fertility benefit, Facebook under its surrogacy benefit (both firms will pay up to $20,000). Brigitte Adams, founder of Eggsurance, says “Having a high-powered career and children is still a very hard thing to do,” and the prohibitive cost – $10,000 plus $500 or more for storage – means that women who want a career in a male-dominated environment know that very often they have to make a choice to forego children in order to compete with their male colleagues. According to NBC News, freezing eggs is a key to “leveling the playing field” between men and women: “Without the crushing pressure of a ticking biological clock, women have more freedom in making life choices, say advocates. A Bloomberg Businessweek magazine cover story earlier this year asked: Will freezing your eggs free your career? ‘Not since the birth control pill has a medical technology had such potential to change family and career planning,’ wrote author Emma Rosenblum.
NBC reports “For many women, taking the step to boost their chances of having kids in the future is worth the uncertainty. A majority of patients who froze their eggs reported feeling ’empowered’ in a 2013 survey published in the journal Fertility and Sterility.” As well as an benefits to female employees, it has also been noted that the strategy pays off in the long term for companies. Women feel encouraged to stay with their employer longer, “cutting down on recruiting and hiring costs.”