It’s been well established that more gender and racial diversity in the workplace is better for both employees and the company. (Here’s one example, and here’s another.) But how companies can best attract more female talent is an ongoing debate.
In partnership with women’s career community Fairygodboss, we decided to get some answers. Turns out, all we had to do was ask.
In a survey of over 1,000 women ages 21–49, we asked about the benefits women were already receiving from their employers, and the benefits that would really make them want to apply to, take, and stay at a company. Here’s what we learned:
Benefits are really important.
First things first: are benefits like paid parental leave, comprehensive women’s health coverage, and fertility coverage really that important in comparison to salary, hours, or other factors? The answer was a resounding yes.
Of the women we surveyed, 87% responded that a benefits package was either “important” or “very important” when considering a job offer. Certain benefits, like paid parental leave, would even make women more likely to apply. So when it comes to attracting competitive female candidates, offering—and advertising—a strong benefits package is key.
Topping the wishlist: paid parental leave (79% of respondents) and comprehensive women’s health coverage, including coverage for well-woman visits, birth control and abortion services (52% of respondents).
Fertility coverage is unfortunately still scarce.
In our survey, only 6% of women surveyed reported that their employer covered IVF, and only 3% had egg freezing benefits. This echoes the results of a prior report by FertilityIQ, in which over half of women had no fertility benefits at all.
We know from FertilityIQ’s report that employees who receive fertility coverage are more committed and loyal to their companies. (Learn more.) And interestingly, in our research, the availability of fertility benefits (IVF and egg freezing) had a much greater impact on the willingness of women of color to stay at their current company compared to white women—so it’s possible that offering this benefit can help a company increase diversity in an intersectional way.
We’re likely to see the number of companies offering fertility benefits increase, especially in New York, as laws around IVF and egg freezing coverage change. Thanks to new legislation that goes into effect in 2020, more insurers in NYS will now be required to cover IVF and medically necessary egg freezing (such as in the case of a cancer diagnosis), and patients will have access to those benefits regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, or relationship status.
We hope to see even more progress in making fertility medicine accessible to everyone. In the meantime, we’re focusing on continuing to find ways to reduce the cost of egg freezing, IVF, and other reproductive technologies. Egg freezing with Extend Fertility costs 40% less than the national average, and we offer payment plan options to make it possible for more women to preserve their options.
Want to learn more about egg freezing with Extend Fertility?
Too many women still aren’t getting women- and family-friendly benefits.
In fact, nearly 40% of the women we surveyed don’t have access to any of the benefits we asked about—paid parental leave, return to work programs, assistance with adoption, on-site childcare or childcare subsidies, fertility benefits, and women’s healthcare coverage—whatsoever. In 2019, we think it’s time more companies started valuing their female employees by giving them the benefits they really want, and deserve.
To learn more, download the full report from the survey, conducted in partnership with Fairygodboss.