Is Your Workplace Fertility Friendly?
When you’re on a fertility journey, the last thing you want to worry about is navigating hurdles at work. Whether it’s asking for time off for blood draws or to grieve a miscarriage or navigating benefits that may or may not cover your treatments. A fertility-friendly workplace can be the added layer of support you never knew you needed! But what does that look like?
Top 3 Signs of a Fertility Friendly Company
Comprehensive Fertility Benefits: Make sure you are well-versed in what benefits your company offers. Set a meeting with your HR department to see what support is in place for you. Ask questions like:
Is egg freezing covered? If so, how many rounds? Do you have to be married? Are there certain age restrictions?
Is time off offered for a miscarriage loss? If so, is it determined by gestational age? (7 weeks vs. 18 weeks)
Do you offer a flexible work schedule for fertility treatment appointments, hormone infections, etc.?
Competitive Offerings: Once you know what your own company offers, take the time to compare that with similar businesses. What fertility policies do they have in place? If you find more comprehensive elsewhere, you can take examples and suggestions to your HR department.
Supportive Culture: Emotional wellbeing both in and out of the office is important. If you’re trying to conceive, make sure your workplace has a culture that recognizes that fertility is a top priority for you. Are there groups at your work you can join for support? If not, start one! Is there someone you can go to for questions? Make sure you figure out who that person is!
If you need extra help discussing these issues with your employer, here are some important figures that you can take to your meeting:
“The number of women choosing to freeze their eggs is rising — up 1,000% in the U.S. between 2009 and 2016, according to some estimates — and the number of individuals, heterosexual and same-sex couples seeking non-traditional routes to parenthood is growing further still.”
“The cost of such treatments remains unfeasibly high for many, however. The typical price for one egg freezing cycle in the U.S. is $11,000, with additional charges including hormone medication ($5,000) and storage ($2,000). IVF treatment can cost closer to $24,000.”
“As of 2020, 42% of large U.S. employers — those with over 20,000 staff — offered coverage for IVF treatment, while almost 19% offered egg freezing. For smaller companies with over 500 employees, those figures were 27% and 11%, respectively. It marks a rapid uptick from the mid-2010s when such novel perks were almost exclusively limited to Silicon Valley trailblazers like Facebook and Apple.”
Recognize that a fertility-friendly company is a win for everyone involved, so ensure you’re investing your work week in a company that truly values you!