An article that was released this week in The Telegraph wrote that almost half of women now remain childless by their 30th birthday – despite the rise in the average number of children they are having1.
Amanda Sharfman from the Centre for Ageing and Demography, said “We continue to see a delay in childbearing, with nearly half of women born in 1989 remaining childless by their 30th birthday compared to 1 in 5 in their grandmothers’ generation”2.
But why is this happening?
Equal opportunities in the workplace mean that women are more determined – and more able – to achieve successful careers. Of course, this comes at a cost – and securing a dream position and salary usually means delaying starting a family.
Studies have found that female educational enrolment is strongly associated with delaying cohabitation, marriage and childbirth. In the 10 years from 2006, the female higher education participation rates rose by 10% in England, to 56%3.
Over 60 years ago, women didn’t have the same opportunities in their careers as they do today. They were the “stay at home mothers” and the men went out to work and were the “bread winners”. That generation is a dying breed and both men and women work equally as hard.
In today’s generation, it seems that people are just not settling down and getting married like they did in their grandmothers’ day. Women have more in control of their future and are more independent than ever before. It seems the younger generations want everything in the fast lane – from fast fashion to fast love (tinder, plenty of fish) and fast food!
Although this is the way of the world, sadly the fact will always remain that we cannot slow down a women’s fertility and waiting till you are in your thirties to try to conceive could result in needing fertility treatment. There are many clinics offering fertility services and support, but when a woman is actually going through the fertility journey, the extra stress of taking time away from the office is often overlooked, causing extra pressure.
Fertility in the workplace
Reproductive health has been ignored in the workplace due to the private and sensitive nature of the issue, leaving employers unsure of how to support their employees. At Fertifa, we recognise that fertility is still a taboo subject in the workplace, just like mental health was a few years ago.
When a woman is going though treatment, having the correct support from their employer is paramount. Research shows that 90% of employees that face fertility challenges will change jobs for a company that offers fertility benefits4. Furthermore, the average cost to employers to replace a single member of staff is estimated by ACAS to be more than £30,0005.
Let us help you by offering support in how to help your employees in their fertility journey. Many women are reluctant to speak up about their fertility struggles in fear of it affecting their career that they have worked so hard to achieve. Why not take that first step as an employer and put a policy in place?
Companies that offer fertility benefits to their employees improve their staff loyalty and it’s been proven that staff work better when they feel supported and engaged with their employers. In 1991 and 2016, birth rates from in vitro fertilisation treatment (IVF) increased by more than 85%, and around three-fifths of women who undergo treatment are 35 and over6.
Not only can Fertifa help employers create a fertility in the workplace policy to offer support to employees on their fertility journey, but also offer education to help raise awareness to our young female colleagues, educating them at an earlier age, of the importance of understanding their fertility.
Fertifa is the UK’s leading fertility and reproductive health benefits provider that delivers a bespoke, flexible corporate programme for employers of any size, leveraging its in-house telehealth innovation and medical expertise to make fertility care more accessible and affordable for all.
With decades of medical, benefit consulting and HR expertise, Fertifa are on hand to answer your questions. Get in touch today.