Okay, so Facebook and Apple don’t exactly do the freezing or at least I don’t think they do. But, what they are doing is offering to freeze the eggs of women that want the procedure as a benefit to employment. Let’s call it a perk. A pregnant-when-you-wanna perk.
The idea is women will be able to delay child bearing to put their careers first.
There’s a dearth of women in tech as article after article will tell you. These two progressive companies hope the move will attract top tier candidates and convince them to put the job first.
As it stands right now, tech companies don’t want you to leave the office EVER, regardless of your gender or baby making abilities. That’s why they’ve got all those cool “extras” like ping pong tables, gourmet salmon lunches, massages and on site gyms. They want you to work, work, and then work some more.
There is no such thing as a free lunch. Unless, of course, you work at Google.
Facebook and Apple claim that they are offering the “freeze your eggs” option because employees have asked for it.
From that perspective, it sounds great. Fully do your career first, while your young, and then let Facebook pay for your family when you’re ready.
But, from another perspective it sounds kind of creepy. In fact, it sounds like the plot line to a dystopian story like Hunger Games or Divergent. It is also worrying for another reason. Picture an overly ambitious boss saying, “Well, why wouldn’t you delay family for your career? After all, we’re buying.” And that’s the creepy part. A company having a say or more like a sway over what you do with your reproductive capability.
I don’t know. It’s either great or a horror show.
You could “what’s next” this into a version of macabre theater. Imagine, all these Facebook women freezing their eggs around the same time. Then in their 40s and 50s it’s time to “re-plant” during the “harvest season”. Let’s give them a name. Call the ladies the “Crockers” – named after a slow cooker, of course. Film a scene where come “harvest time” the “Crockers” are slowly walking en masse towards the campground behind Zuckerberg’s McMansion to lay their eggs and, well, you’ve got the picture. It’s creepy as all get out. Something just doesn’t feel right about it.
But, then again – perks are great.
Who doesn’t love the tech job where you can put in a walking desk or occasionally work from home since your entire job is on the internet anyway? Who doesn’t love a company who matches your 401k or pays for alternative therapies? I lived in the UK for a short period of time. There the perk seemed almost non-existent in some industries. It made me notice (and desire) the infrequent perk all the more. Now, of course, you could make the argument that a perk is a smoke-and-mirrors way for an employer to pay you less. However, the flip side is that a good perk just makes you feel appreciated.
So, if the ladies want to freeze their eggs, all the power to them. Just as long as Facebook keeps their influence of your “choice” at arms length. In other words, hopefully they don’t give out incentives to freeze your eggs like they gave out free water bottles and chocolate bars in college to open up more credit card accounts. All that did was get me into debt and I don’t think I’m the only one. Picture children born of such incentives and then let the chills settle in.
So, what do you think? Is the “freeze your eggs” perk a good one or a brave new world?