These days, health benefits are considered a nice—but basically expected—perk of a full-time job. But do you know what’s not as prevalent? Fertility benefits. In fact, it’s pretty rare for companies to offer fertility benefits at all, and the few that do offer it don’t always get it right, Fertility benefits, if offered at all, can be restrictive and deliver little, if any, real benefit to the people who need them. For this reason, when companies do get it right, it can send a powerful statement about company culture to both current and prospective employees. So, what do you think? Will fertility benefits attract women to a workplace? I think perhaps they might.
How One Company Aims to Help
At a time when most companies often don’t offer fertility benefits, a company called Progyny aims to change that. Why is this significant? The battle for top talent has never been more competitive, and finding and retaining female executives is critically important. Progyny’s president, Karin Ajmani, understands fertility problems firsthand, so she knows how hard it is to get related expenses covered.
After seven miscarriages, Ajmani not only had to deal with physical and emotional pain, but also problems with her relationship. Add to that missed opportunities for career advancement and outrageous medical bills, and you can see why she was inspired to start working at Progyny to help other women avoid having the same experiences. Sure, many parts of the infertility process can’t be avoided, but some of them—including the job and money issues—shouldn’t have to exist.
Which Businesses Offer Fertility Benefits?
So Progyny’s goal is to offer fertility solutions to big companies so their employees don’t feel like they have to choose between becoming a parent and staying afloat financially and professionally. Progyny boasts a few dozen Fortune 500 companies as clients, not surprisingly including companies like Salesforce, Pinterest, and Microsoft. Tech talent is hard to find, and even harder to keep. Fertility benefits help.
Make no mistake, there are a few companies out there who have stepped up their fertility benefits lately (without the help of a company like Progyny), including companies like Starbucks, Bank of America, and Spotify being a few examples. That’s certainly a step in the right direction, especially for companies that want to attract and retain women.
How Do Some Companies Still Fall Short?
It’s true that more companies than ever are offering fertility benefits. But is just offering them enough? According to Ajmani, it isn’t. That’s because many companies simply don’t provide enough coverage, making it still too expensive for many couples to give fertility treatments a try. Many companies have a cap on the benefits that simply isn’t high enough, so couples can only afford the cheapest treatment option, which is not always right for them. Speaking as someone who spent three years and some $40K on fertility treatments, with a husband who works for a Fortune 100 company, I’ve walked this path—and it is not a fun one. Or an inexpensive one. The toll that journey took on the two of us was a stiff one, and definitely not one ever forgotten.
Another issue with some companies’ fertility benefits is that they cover only heterosexual couples who have been trying to conceive for a year or more. That leaves out women who want to be single mothers, as well as members of the LGTBQ community. Companies that don’t expand their fertility coverage might miss out on valuable employees for this reason.
Finally, fertility coverage shouldn’t just pay for the medical side of treatment. It should also pay for at least a portion of treatment for the depression and anxiety that can come with the infertility journey. Plus, people deserve access to education about fertility, which is why Progyny opts to employ experts on everything from the fertility process to psychology and social work. This way, women can learn how to track their fertility, determine their chances of pregnancy every month, and decide when they need to see fertility specialists.
How Fertility Benefits Attract Women to a Workplace
So, how fertility benefits attract women to a workplace is pretty clear cut. Having the right kind of fertility benefits can make a significant impact on not only attracting women, but also in retaining them. Offering fertility benefits can also help attract and retain top male talent and in a competitive job market, paying attention to these kind of family-focused needs can make a significant impression, and a significant impact on your talent recruiting and talent retention initiatives.
The right benefit offerings send an impactful message about what the company culture is like, showing that the business really cares about the employees as a whole. Now that’s the way to get the attention of the most sought-after female candidates!
Additional resources on this topic:
6 Changes Your Company Must Make To Develop More Female Leaders
Want Great Culture? Create an Inclusive, Diverse Workplace
Unique Ways Businesses Recruit Top Talent