Survey results reveal a universal need for better fertility support at work, with only 32% of professionals seeking to grow their families able to afford fertility treatment, and 42% saying that a new job offer with no fertility benefits would be a "deal breaker"
MENLO PARK, Calif., April 18, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Employees around the globe actively seeking to grow their families face significant challenges and are eager for more support from employers, according to a new Global Fertility at Work report from Carrot Fertility. As the leading global fertility care platform for women+, the company surveyed 5,000 people across Canada, India, Mexico, UK, and the U.S. to understand how people around the world feel about fertility topics at work, assess programs currently in place, and learn how they can be better supported at work in their fertility and family-forming journeys. This report is being released ahead of National Infertility Awareness Week, which is recognized during the week of April 23rd in the U.S. and Canada.
Financial and workplaces challenges are the biggest barriers to family-forming
Despite universal societal pressure (91%) to build a family, with the most common from a parent asking for grandchildren (49%), the survey reveals that the two biggest roadblocks to starting a family are financial challenges (63%), followed closely by workplace challenges (55%), including considerations such as career growth.
For employees looking to start or grow their families, just 32% say they can afford fertility treatments if needed. For those lacking financial resources, 29% reported they may incur debt, and 39% would tap savings. Further, to cover these debts, bank loans are the top financing option (47%) globally, though Americans and Canadians would be more likely to take on a second job. Additionally, 41% of Americans would sell possessions – the highest such global stat.
The new report also underscores the negative impact of fertility healthcare stress on productivity at work. Among respondents, 65% have spent time at work researching fertility treatments, benefits, and family-forming. Meanwhile, 55% report that fertility challenges have detrimentally impacted their work performance.
Workplace fertility benefits are critical to recruitment, retention, and inclusivity
The report spotlights the role employers can play to not only ease many of the pain points employees feel from the workplace environment, but also position companies to succeed. Across the globe, there is overwhelming employee support for employer-provided fertility benefits, which are deemed critical to recruitment, retention, and inclusivity.
Among respondents, 65% would change jobs to work for a company that offers fertility benefits, 65% would ask about fertility benefits before accepting a new job offer, and 62% would even consider taking a second, part-time job with fertility benefits. For 42%, if fertility benefits aren't offered for a new job, it's a "deal breaker." Retention is also a significant draw, with 72% committing to stay at a company longer if they had access to fertility benefits. Moreover, 75% consider fertility benefits at work to be an important part of an inclusive company culture.
Significant demand for fertility benefits presents opportunities for employers
There is substantial employee demand for fertility benefits in the workplace, presenting an opportunity for employers to enhance their benefits offerings to attract and retain talent. More than 60% believe that employees in their country should have better access to fertility benefits in the workplace.
The survey also reveals additional opportunities for employers to support their workforces, specifically through both an improved culture and better benefits. Nearly all respondents (97%) expressed a desire for better workplace culture for those trying to build a family or experiencing fertility challenges, with "better emotional or mental health resources" (63%) being the most popular solution. When employers do offer fertility benefits, specialized emotional and mental health tailored for fertility care experiences support are the most common such benefits and considered most valuable (53%).
Similarly, 97% expressed a desire for more employer-led support in addressing fertility care needs in the workplace, with fertility benefits being the top global solution (59%).
"This new global report validates an important reality we have known for years: fertility is not only a healthcare issue, but also a global workplace concern," said Tammy Sun, Founder and CEO, Carrot Fertility. "These results demonstrate just how essential comprehensive fertility healthcare and family-forming support is for employees worldwide and showcase the opportunity employers have to make impactful investments in this critical part of healthcare."
Discussion of fertility at work is more taboo than politics or religion
Exacerbating the challenges many employees on their family-forming journeys encounter in the workplace, attempts to talk about fertility with colleagues and managers is very much taboo. The vast majority of employees (79%) feel uncomfortable discussing it openly at work, primarily because it could be perceived as unprofessional. In fact, according to respondents, even topics like politics and religion are more acceptable workplace conversations than subjects like pregnancy challenges, pregnancy loss, or menopause.
Moreover, 33% are uncomfortable having these discussions in private with a supervisor or manager and 28% are uncomfortable discussing directly with colleagues.
Carrot commissioned this scientific random sample of 5,000 respondents equally representing five countries (Canada, Mexico, India, UK, U.S.) between the ages of 25 and 40, currently employed for wages, and are either in the planning stages or actively building a family. The survey was fielded between March 9 and March 13, 2023, and has a margin of error of 1.4% with 95% confidence.
About Carrot Fertility
Carrot Fertility is the leading global fertility care platform for women, who are often at the center of fertility care decisions and consequences. Plus, Carrot serves people of every age, race, income, sex, sexual orientation, gender, marital status, and geography. Trusted by hundreds of multinational employers, health plans, and health systems, Carrot's comprehensive clinical program delivers industry-leading cost savings for employers and award-winning experiences for millions of people worldwide. Whether there is a need for care through fertility preservation, male-factor infertility, pre-pregnancy, IVF, pregnancy and postpartum, adoption, gestational surrogacy, or menopause, Carrot supports members and their families through many of the most memorable and meaningful moments of their lives.
Carrot has received national and international recognition for its pioneering work, including Best Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Product from the Anthem Awards, Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies, CNBC's 100 Barrier Breaking Startups, and more. Carrot is regularly featured in media reporting on issues related to the future of work, women in leadership, healthcare innovation and diversity, equity, and inclusion, including MSNBC, The Economist, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, National Public Radio, Harvard Business Review, and more.
Carrot is fully distributed, with teams in more than 40 states across the United States and dozens of countries around the world. It has received numerous workplace awards, including Fortune's Best Workplaces in Healthcare, Quartz's Best Companies for Remote Workers, and Great Place to Work and Age-Friendly Employer certifications. Learn more at carrotfertility.com.