Apple and Facebook to pay for workers to freeze their eggs

15 Oct 2014

Tech giants Apple and Facebook will pay for employees to freeze their eggs, in a move deemed as an investment in staff and not as a tactic to get women to shelve their family plans for work.

Facebook recently began offering the benefit, and Apple will begin to do the same in January, spokespeople for the companies told NBC News.

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,” Apple said in a statement.

Apple and Facebook appear to be the first major companies to offer this coverage for non-medical reasons, and egg freezing doesn’t come cheaply: the procedure can cost at least US$10,000 for each round, in addition to US$500 or more per year to store the eggs.

Brigitte Adams, an egg-freezing advocate and founder of the patient forum, told NBC News companies are investing in women and supporting them in having the lives they want by offering this benefit.

On the other hand, Glenn Cohen, co-director of Harvard Law School’s Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics, wrote in a blog post he is curious about the public relations implications such a benefit will have on companies.

“Would potential female associates welcome this option knowing that they can work hard early on and still reproduce, if they so desire, later on? Or would they take this as a signal that the firm thinks that working there as an associate and pregnancy are incompatible?”

Cell image via Shutterstock

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic