The lack of support for women facing fertility struggles in the workplace has become a significant issue.
Gabriella Griffith, who underwent IVF treatment, recalls the emotional pain of discovering her period had arrived while at work. She emphasizes the difficulty of leaving fertility struggles at the door, as it affects her professional life.
New research sheds light on the experiences of women undergoing fertility treatment while working
A study found that one in five individuals who have undergone fertility treatment end up quitting their jobs due to the mistreatment they faced during the process. This calls for workplaces to adopt a more “fertility-friendly” environment.
The survey, which involved 2,000 people in the UK who have undergone fertility treatment in the past five years, revealed that one-third of respondents had considered leaving their jobs due to the way they were treated by their employers. The study also uncovered the psychological impact of fertility issues, with 16% reporting that their mental health had been affected. This figure rose to 24% among single women and those on low incomes.
Balancing work and fertility treatments, particularly IVF, poses challenges for women in these circumstances
They often face difficult choices, such as whether to disclose their situation to management or come up with creative excuses. Many fear that revealing their fertility struggles may hinder their chances of career advancement and expose deeply personal matters to colleagues.
The research also found that 42% of workers who have undergone fertility treatment in the last five years found it challenging to manage treatment alongside their job. Additionally, 43% reported facing negative comments and attitudes from colleagues, while 11% believe that their fertility treatments have negatively impacted their relationships with coworkers.
Totaljobs Group’s Managing Director, Jane Lorigan, emphasizes the need for comprehensive support from employers, as fertility issues impact all aspects of an individual’s life. She calls for open conversations at work and a shift in work cultures to create a better workplace for everyone. The study also highlights the importance of fertility benefits in attracting employees, as 61% stated that such benefits make an employer more attractive.
It is clear that many individuals impacted by fertility issues feel let down by their workplaces
It is crucial for employers to provide adequate support and awareness to address this issue effectively and create a more inclusive and understanding work environment.
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