Fertility in the Workplace: What can HR learn from “The Bold Type” TV series?

Inclusive fertility benefits will help female employees fell bold and confident in the workplace

Author Name: Ruby Relton BSc MSc

The Bold Type has taken our screens by storm, rising to fame through its depiction of young women in the workplace, forging their careers in New York City.

Whilst being great TV, there are also some learnings from a particular character – Jane – which resonated with us at Hertility. After finding out she has a genetic mutation that means an increased risk of developing breast cancer, Jane decides to freeze her eggs. However, her dilemma begins when she discovers egg freezing is not included in her company benefits policy… yet cover for impotence issues for male members of staff is (we are confused too!).

So, what can we learn from The Bold Type?

1. Your fertility benefits must be inclusive

It is no use just serving one group within your employee pool. Reproductive health benefits should be framed around making sure each employee’s needs are taken into account. Something which Scarlet did not do.

For example, offering a benefit such as egg freezing can help alleviate some of the pressures put on women at this time in their lives, allowing them to focus on other things such as personal and career goals.

2. They must be rolled out effectively

For example, what does offering a benefit like egg freezing alone say about your company values?

Egg freezing has often been criticised as being potentially coercive. Instead of facilitating reproductive autonomy, it actually reinforces the rhetoric that women must choose between either having a career OR a family but cannot have both.

Offering any type of reproductive health benefit should not be forced on employees and there should always be a counsellor on hand to discuss the pros and cons of opting for each.

3. They must be adaptable

Situations change and what your employees need from their reproductive health benefits package may change. It is best to go for something which can be part of a life-course approach. Additionally, you need to be ready to listen to your employee’s needs, so that in cases like Jane’s you can be there to support your employees, whatever life throws at them.

How can Hertility help?

Hertilty Health works alongside employers to improve access to reproductive healthcare for your workforce through educational workshops, female health assessments and consultations with in-house experts in fertility, menopause, PCOS, endometriosis and gynaecology.

To learn more about our Reproductive Health Education and Benefits for Employers, reach out to [email protected] or visit our website