15/10/2014 13:59 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

Apple And Facebook Offer Women Staff £12,000 To Freeze Their Eggs

Egg storage for in vitro fertilisation (IVF). Tube of eggs in cryogenic (frozen) storage.

Apple and Facebook are offering women staff up to $20,000 (£12,600) to freeze their eggs so they can concentrate on their careers without sacrificing their future chances of starting a family.

The unusual perk is already being offered by Facebook while Apple will introduce the incentive in January.

Freezing eggs allows a woman to have her eggs extracted and stored so that they can be implanted into her uterus at a later time when, perhaps, her fertility might be on the wane.

According to Reuters, egg freezing is the latest bid in the Silicon Valley 'arms race': employees are lavished with health and wellness benefits to keep them fit and encourage loyalty.

Apple and Facebook already offer options for fertility treatment and adoption – and Facebook gives new parents $4,000 (£2,500) 'baby cash' to help with the costs of a newborn.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has campaigned for women to have more equality in the workplace and fertility treatments in particular are seen as helping to 'level the playing field' because it means ambitious female workers won't have to pause their careers to have children.

What do you think of this 'incentive'?

Why Apple and Facebook Are Paying to Freeze Female Eggs