The lack of quality, affordable childcare in the United States heated up since news emerged last year that tech giants Apple and Facebook will pay up to $20,000 for female employees to freeze their eggs if they want or need to delay motherhood.
While many applauded the companies for covering the expensive (and invasive) procedure, it left many uneasy and wondering – if you’re going to pay to put a woman’s fertility on ice while she helps you make a profit, shouldn’t you reconsider your corporate culture to make it easier to be a working mother?
“We offer to freeze your eggs – it’s saying how can we fix this now easily and quickly instead of being systematic,” says Ariane Hegewisch, a study director at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, who says companies need to do more to help working parents have flexible hours and childcare options. “It’s a very technology-centred, short-term approach.”
Facebook does offer flexible hours and perks for new parents – but it does not have onsite childcare centres – nor does it have doggie day care as was (widely and falsely) reported since news of the freezing eggs emerged.