The Eggs In The Gilded Cage

For years we have been impressed with the perks of being a High Tech employee:  the exciting free food, the on-site gym, the retreats, and that even before we begin to admire the generous  paychecks and the other financial benefits.

But  there is always a price, in return for all that the workers give the company their life, or at least all their time and creative energy. Now comes the latest perk: covering the expense of freezing the eggs of their female employees, as announced by Facebook and Apple.

But excuse me if I  don’t trust those companies to have women’s  best interest in mind. Disguised as a generous concern for their female employees,  the companies are gaining control of the biological clock of the women and  set it according to their own schedule.

The decade between 30 and 40 is crucial for one’s career, but unfortunately it is also the last opportunity for women to have a healthy baby, and many times to have a baby at all. Like making a deal with the devil,  this cynical move could harm women as it lulls them into believing that  they could continue giving their best years to the company as the clock has stopped ticking.

The question is why would a  young (or not so young) career woman choose to go through such a procedure? The answer most likely is that she is not ready to have a child just yet.There could be many reasons for her reluctance, but the main one is that  she is afraid to jeopardize her career

Unfortunately  she has every reason to be afraid.

In today’s world  the decision if and when  to have a child has become one of the hardest in a woman’s life.  Although it is prohibited  by law, every career woman knows that she would most likely not be hired if she is interviewed for a job when pregnant. In a competitive market there would always be plenty of reasons to cover up that sad truth.  If she is lucky enough and already has a job  her short maternity leave is almost always frowned upon.  If she chooses to stay home a while longer, she seriously  risks her advancement and could even lose  her job.  Once she is back at work,  refusing  to work overtime usually means that her career is basically over.

In theory everyone loves children but in the business world no one likes having them in its backyard, not even companies  like Apple and Facebook where most of the employees are young.  They prefer to be pioneers in covering technological advances, which could have been described in Brave New World  rather than to improve working conditions for women and make it a friendlier environment for mothers.  .

Not every woman chooses to have children, but  if she does it is about time that powerful companies like Facebook and Apple understand that  having children is of general interest. It is their responsibility to their workers and to the whole community to lead the way not only in technology but in going back to basics. Making time to have a family is not a luxury, it is the future of our society and, of course, in the long run, it is also beneficial for the success of the company.

About the Author
I have a PhD in English literature from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and I usually write about issues concerning women, literature, culture and society. I lived in the US for 15 years (between 1979-1994). I am widow and in March 2016 started a support/growth Facebook group for widows: "Widows Move On." In October 2017 I started a Facebook group for Older and Experienced Feminists. .
Related Topics
Related Posts