Some Silicon Valley Companies Using Unconventional Female Recruiting Tactic

It would appear egg freezing has gone mainstream in terms of talent recruitment strategies, at least if you’re located in Silicon Valley.

That’s right – some companies, namely Facebook and Apple, are marketing egg freezing as one of the perks for female talent to work for them.

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Proponents of the idea are applauding what they see as an innovative move, while others are questioning the concept a bit.

The Female Talent Shortage

Silicon Valley and the tech world in general have long been grappling with the problem of a lack of female talent.

This issue was brought to the national spotlight recently when a Microsoft executive spoke about his feeling that women in the tech world should simply sit back and wait for promotions and career advancements to come to them.

After that debacle, the company highlighted a number of actions it would be taking to improve the corporate culture for females, and to improve the focus on hiring more women.

Egg freezing may not be something Microsoft is offering right now, but others are. The idea is not without criticism however. Many are pointing to the fact that some of these tech companies may be taking it a step too far by adding egg freezing to their list of on-the-job perks.

Proponents of the idea say it’s actually a great way to lure in career-minded female talent. Egg freezing has typically been thought of as a way to delay having children in favor of putting your career, schooling or other goals first.

The procedure itself is something gaining popularity amongst many women. In general many women have put off having children for a number of reasons, and this benefit gives them the means to do so while still preserving the eggs of their 20s or early 30s.

In addition to being available to female employees, spouses can also take advantage of this option.

The Criticism

While some people have come out strongly in favor of offering egg freezing as a benefit, others have been more critical of the idea, saying really these companies are suggesting women can’t have a work-life balance. It could appear employers are asking women to delay having children and families in order to make strides in their careers, whereas men are often seen as being able to easily have both.

Criticism also comes from the fact that this is a benefit that doesn’t necessarily address the real wants or needs of female employees, or the 21st century workforce in general. Employees, both male and female, tend to be focused on achieving that true sense of work-life balance and finding employers who are willing to be flexible in exchange for great employees.

Opponents of the idea go on to say it may be a subtle way these companies are coercing their employees into the work-dominated lifestyle they want them to have.

A Costly Concept

Egg freezing certainly isn’t inexpensive, which is why many women may see it as a big draw to accept employment at one of the companies offering the benefit. Most insurance doesn’t cover the costs of egg freezing.

In general, the benefit as it stands now covers about $20,000 worth of procedures related to egg freezing. That equates to about two retrievals.

In Silicon Valley there has been a longstanding focus on attracting talent through innovative and sometimes lavish benefits packages, including everything from on-site gyms to paid sabbaticals. While this isn’t new in that sense, it’s certainly an interesting take on attracting female talent.

What do you think about adding egg freezing options to the ever-expanding roster of employee benefits being offered not just by tech companies, but organizations in all industries? How do you view it from the perspective of both an employer and an employee? Do you think it’s something that will legitimately help Silicon Valley attract and retain female talent?

December 3, 2014   Updated :March 20, 2015      

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