Business

Companies can't win with some female critics

SOMETIMES I think I am not for this world.

When news came that Apple and Facebook were offering women up to US$20,000 towards freezing and storing their eggs, I thought what a great gesture.

Apple's statement that "we want to empower women at Apple to do the best work of their lives as they care for loved ones and raise their families" made perfect sense to me.

It seemed to me that these women were being afforded the opportunity of planning their families, just like the pill did for us in the sixties.

Like the pill, it seems to me that the freezing of eggs is all about fertility control.

And why shouldn't a woman who has studied hard to get the qualifications together to do a stimulating job that she loves plan her family in a way that best suits her?

But no, it's Orwellian, said one female commentator I saw on the giggle box recently.

A reference of course to George Orwell's book 1984 which spawned the notion of Big Brother watching us, controlling our every move.

It's Apple and Facebook dictating when women should have children in defiance of nature, she said in agreement with her two "sisters" on the expert panel.

One went on to speculate without an iota of evidence, that Apple and Facebook would for sure be paying men doing similar jobs more than their female employees and that is a more important consideration.

Never mind the irrelevance to the topic.

The irony of this woman linking the offer to Orwell's book struck me as well.

Big Brother took away the ability of people to express ideas and find injustice in proscriptions by degrading the language and eradicating any historical record.

The objective was to remove from people's lives the ability to draw comparisons and nuances to the point that expression was just a series of utterances. Maybe he'd visited this panellist.

All three agreed that Apple and Facebook should create a culture of flexibility for new parents.

And fair enough too, if it were a valid criticism. Both companies have introduced benefits including extended parental leave.

In fact, Facebook offers four months paid leave for new mothers and new fathers.

How much further are they expected to go in helping people cope with the consequences of their own decision to create a family?

Topics:  apple bob lamont facebook good business opinion



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