Facebook and Apple offer free egg freezing to female employees in the US

Lynsey Barber
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Facebook and Apple offer egg freezing perk (Source: Getty)

Famous Silicon Valley firms Facebook and Apple are offering an unusual perk to its female employees - and it's slightly controversial.

Both companies are offering women working at the company based in the US free egg freezing for non-medical reasons as part of their healthcare benefits package.

Facebook already offers the perk, having introduced it earlier this year, and Apple will begin doing so from January,

The benefit has received a somewhat mixed reaction.

In the tech sector, where representation of women is lower than average and gender equality is an issue, the offer could be seen as another signal that women should put their family life on hold if they want to be seen as committed to their career. Shouldn't companies create a better work environment in which women can have a family and a successful career?

However, in the US where basic maternity leave is just 12 weeks of unpaid leave, the offer could be considered generous, affording women greater choice over when they have a family.

Both companies already offer more generous family-friendly benefits than those legally required. Shouldn't more female empowerment and flexibility get a "like"?

The perk is one that is less likely to be offered to Apple and Facebook employees in the UK, thanks in part due to more generous maternity and paternity leave and free healthcare in comparison to the US.

However, the revelation has sparked a fair amount of reaction in regard to women and the age-old work-life balance debate.

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