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Fertility benefits = equity

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Last year, we wrote an article explaining what fertility benefits have to do with diversity. In this article we explained how a big portion of the population is systematically disadvantaged or completely excluded when it comes to fertility and family planning. Although we still strongly believe that providing fertility benefits can optimize your diversity and inclusion management, it can do so much more: by offering fertility benefits you recognize that each person has different circumstances and is in need of different resources and opportunities to reach an equal outcome.   

Fertility = equity

In the last few months, the D&I term was widely expanded to DE&I – including “equity” as part of the concept. The term “equity” refers to fairness and justice whereas diversity and inclusion management aims to provide equal opportunities for all people – regardless of their age, gender or sexual orientation. Equity means recognizing that we do not all start from the same place and that we must make adjustments to imbalances for everyone to have the same outcome. We are going to use three angles to showcase how different population groups need different resources to start their family forming journey and how fertility benefits can assist them:

The biological angle

What often is ignored is that inequality is already embedded into our biology. Women are already born with all their egg cells and by the time they reach 35, 95% of their egg cell reserve is gone. Men, in contrast, produce sperm on a regular basis and while also the quality of semen decreases with age, their sperm count is often still high till late in life. On top of that, fertility treatment costs for women are usually 10x higher than those for men.
These numbers give women immense pressure to start their family forming journey earlier than for example men. This time pressure makes it more difficult for women to make free and adequate career decisions. According to a report from Third Way, mothers see their earnings drop by 4% for each child. Interestingly, the opposite is true for men. Upon becoming a father, men see their income rise by 6%.

It is clear that there is an imbalance for women and men when starting their family forming journey. However, by providing fertility benefits including fertility preservation measures such as egg freezing, you will give women the same opportunity as men to prolong their decision to start a family.

The sexual orientation angle

The LGBTQ Family Building Survey, released in January of 2020, revealed that interest in parenthood within the LGBTQ+ community is increasing. However, in comparison, among LGBTQ+ people planning to start or grow their families, only 37% were considering intercourse as a viable option. For the majority of LGBTQ+ people planning to have children (63%), methods other than intercourse are necessary. Options such as surrogacy, adoption and artificial insemination are often expensive. Additionally, insurance providers in Europe provide obvious barriers which makes it impossible for LGBTQ+ couples to gain any financial support to ART and some countries consider it to be illegal!

There is little that we can do about country legislations, however providing an inclusive fertility benefits program for your employees can support the emotional and financial burden of most LGBTQ+ couples in their family forming journey.

The racial angle

The majority of individuals accessing fertility services are highly educated, high income White people. Research shows that relative to their White peers, Women of Color in Europe attempted to conceive longer before seeking treatment and reported more difficulty getting appointments, taking time off work, and affording fertility treatment. To continue, there are differences in infertility rates by race/ethnicity, however, despite equivalent infertility rates, there is equivalent access to fertility care; White women were approximately twice as likely to seek medical help to become pregnant relative to their d Black peers.

In our latest blog we already discussed how ethnic and racial minority groups suffer from health disparities in Europe. By providing fertility benefits you help women of colour to start their family forming journey equally to white women.

Find out more on why employers need to understand the complexities of LGBTQ+ family forming. If you’d like to learn more about how implementing employee fertility benefits can help you become a more equitable employer, then get in touch

General advice posted on our blog or website or app is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Apryl makes no warranties regarding treatments, coverage, or chances of success.

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