Fertility isn’t just a healthcare concern — it’s a workplace issue, too. Employers can play a pivotal role in supporting employees’ fertility and family-forming needs while boosting employee satisfaction with inclusive benefits.
Fertility care, such as egg freezing, and family-forming journeys such as adoption and gestational surrogacy, can be costly, logistically stressful, and emotionally draining — yet are life changing for those who need them. Providing financial and logistical support through fertility benefits can impact whether or not employees stay and are happy at their company.
We talked to Carrot members to see how fertility benefits impacted their job satisfaction and found three ways in which fertility benefits boost employee satisfaction.
Fostering an inclusive and supportive environment
For Carrot members, Scott and Elizabeth, having fertility benefits through Scott’s employer positively impacted his workplace experience, making him feel valued and supported.
Globally, fertility benefits play a crucial role in how employees assess their work culture. In a survey of people across the U.S., UK, Canada, India, and Mexico, 75% considered fertility benefits to be an important part of an inclusive company culture. Having a culture of support and inclusion is particularly important for millennial and Gen Z employees who prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and will consider an employer’s commitment to DEI when deciding where to work. Many employers, including Scott’s, understand that DEI efforts are tied to employee happiness and satisfaction, too. In fact, 40% of employers offer fertility benefits as a part of DEI initiatives to support employees and diverse family structures.
“Having Carrot through my employer makes me feel like our voices are being heard and that leadership values the things that we value. Family and home life are an integral part of a great company and organization,” said Scott.
Reducing financial stress and improving mental health
Financial challenges are the most common roadblock to starting a family. In the U.S., the average cost of one IVF cycle is $21,600. Gestational surrogacy can cost $136,000 and private domestic adoptions can cost anywhere between $30,000 and $60,000.
Many go into debt or dip into their savings to pay for fertility treatments, while others can't even afford fertility treatments at all. For Carrot member Deana, the cost of egg freezing alone prevented her from being able to pursue the fertility care she wanted. In her late 20s, Deana had tested her fertility and found that her anti-müllerian hormone levels (AMH) were low for her age, suggesting that she had a decreased number of eggs. She wanted to freeze her eggs, but at the time couldn’t afford to do so. It wasn’t until she started her job at Xero and that they announced the Carrot benefit that she received the financial support she needed to preserve her fertility.
“If I didn’t have the Carrot benefit, I don’t know that I would’ve been able to [freeze my eggs]. The benefit from my work covered the majority of my costs, which is incredible and I’m so grateful for that,” Deana said.
Like Deana, many struggle to afford fertility treatments with only 32% able to afford treatments if needed. This type of financial stress can be particularly damaging to a person’s mental health and productivity at work. Research suggests that those who are in debt are three times more likely to have a mental health issue. and among those employees who are financially stressed, 49% spend three or more hours each week dealing with financial-related issues at work. By providing financial coverage for fertility treatments and other family-forming journeys, employers can alleviate the financial burden on their employees, leading to more peace of mind and higher job satisfaction.
Creating a workplace where people want to stay
Surveys show that employees are more likely to stay at companies where they feel supported as people, not just workers. Deana echoed that sentiment: “When [my company] announced the [Carrot] benefit, it made me feel like there’s actually support for women,” she said.
Supporting employees in their personal and professional lives can go a long way toward retaining them. One survey found that 61% of employees who received fertility benefits said they felt more loyal and committed to their employer. Another survey found that 72% would stay at their company longer if they had access to fertility benefits.
Carrot member Kirsten couldn’t agree more. When asked about the benefits at her company Kristen said, “Dataminr is a company that puts its money where its mouth is when it comes to the welfare of its employees. That’s why I’ve stayed for five years and continue to proudly represent this company.”
Providing support that drives retention pays off: research shows that companies with high employee engagement are 21% more profitable. Financial, logistical, and emotional support can help create an environment that empowers employees to pursue their goals outside of work while meeting their targets on the job, too.
Although fertility benefits can make a difference to those who have them, many companies still lack comprehensive fertility support for their employees.