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Dublin: 0 °C Thursday 27 February, 2020

Opinion: 'Corporate egg freezing is a great idea for the women who want that option'

However, egg freezing is a choice and should always be a choice, writes Meriem Ahmed.

Meriem Ahmed Writer and blogger

TECHNOLOGY COMPANY HUBSPOT recently announced that it will offer female employees aged 32 and over the choice to freeze their eggs as part of their salary package.

At first glance, I thought this was an incredible idea. And it is for women who want to freeze their eggs.

Egg extraction can cost up to €10,000 euro per round. The option of having your employer pay for that service is great. It would suit all those women who feel under pressure to start a family earlier than what they would like to. Or earlier than they are able to.

Those who oppose the practice believe it will encourage women to work through their natural childbearing years rather than having a baby. Then there is a belief that this is another means of corporate control.

I think that the practice is merely ensuring that women don’t feel as though they have to prioritise one aspect of their lives over the other.

Societal pressures

Women no longer live in fear of the pressure corporations or society might impose on us. With so many different movements emerging, women are proving that now more than ever, we are tackling these pressures head on.

Egg freezing is a choice and should always be a choice though.

It should be available to those who want to take it up, and those who don’t wish to avail of it shouldn’t have to give it another second’s thought.

Opting out

In saying this, as a young woman, I find that my main concern with the practice is what it could mean for females who opt out of the egg freezing option if more and more companies jump on the bandwagon.

If more and more women are choosing to freeze their eggs, does that then leave space for women who choose not to? Especially since it would mean that now the option is financially available to them. They couldn’t use the high cost as an excuse not to do it if their employer is covering that for them.

It could mean that young mothers would be subjected to discrimination within the workplace. It could make it a tougher battle in the workplace for young mothers who have to balance their family and working lives. How can they compete with the women who freeze their eggs and who choose to wholly focus on work, by putting their family on pause for a few extra years?

A perk not a requirement

Egg freezing is a unique and beneficial perk to have for female employees who wish to opt for it.

However, I do not think it should come at the expense of making women feel like parenthood is a disadvantage for their careers. Women shouldn’t ever be made to feel that being a mother is a disadvantage. Especially since parenthood is never considered to be a disadvantage for men.

Women who choose to start a family early should feel just as comfortable and secure in the workplace as women who choose to freeze their eggs.

Companies must ensure that egg freezing is a perk and not a requirement.

Meriem Ahmed is a writer and blogger.

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Meriem Ahmed  / Writer and blogger

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