Thursday, October 16, 2014

Apple and Facebook freezing their employees eggs

I'm one of those women in IT who wants to have it all: A family and a career. Had I worked at Facebook or Apple, they would tell me that wouldn't be a problem at all. Because they give their employees "baby-cash", extended family leave and now: They can freeze your eggs.

They've decided to interfere with the most private part of a womens life, reproduction. As if freezing a womens eggs will postpone her wish for a family. As if every woman is willing to put their private life on hold for, let's say, 10 years, so that the employer can have their cut of her time. And what happens after 10 years? When the woman with the frozen eggs realizes that her employer is even more dependent on her now than they were before? Is she going to wait just a little bit longer? I mean, her eggs are already frozen, why not wait a couple of years longer? Until her body is not able to carry forth a child. Until her husband is tired of waiting. Until she's come so far in her career she decides to just forget all about those eggs.

Some women might find this to be a great solution, and that's great for them. But other women will feel pressured. Imagine a woman hoping for a promotion, and the only other candidate has made it very clear that she is willing to freeze her eggs to get the job. Will she feel pressured to do the same? My guess is, probably. If she wants children, freezing those eggs wont magically stop her wanting, there's a mental part to the equation that these companies are not thinking about.

Freezing eggs is not a solution for balancing a family and a career. It's as if we were to solve a famine crisis by supplying a pill that switched of hunger. The famine victimes would still need food, the pill would only postpone the problem and in my opinion make it worse. 

I hope Apple and Facebook will think twice about this. I hope they will address the true issue here, how to make the industry accept a women balancing her career with a family. Without discrimination, without making her feel the extra pressure. 

I have a job that I love and a beautiful family. I'm balancing for all that it's worth, and it's exhausting but it's worth it. My employer makes it possible and not once have I felt pressured or discriminated against. Surely, if they can do it, you would think Apple and Facebook could do the same?

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