As many as one in five women going through fertility treatment have quit their jobs because they didn’t feel supported enough by their employer.
That’s according to the ‘Paths to Parenthood: Navigating Fertility in the Workplace’ report, compiled by Totaljobs and the Fawcett Society, which revealed a further 33% had considered leaving their place of work due to how their employer treated them during this time.
The data also shows that 43% said that they had faced negative comments and attitudes from fellow colleagues and 11% went as far as to say that their fertility treatments have had a negative impact on relationships with their colleagues.
Jane Lorigan, Managing Director at Totaljobs, commented, “Getting treatment for fertility issues impacts every aspect of someone’s life. Starting conversations at work can be sensitive to broach but employers that offer comprehensive and compassionate support can not only make the process easier to deal with but foster a better workplace for everyone.
“The subject of infertility remains a sensitive one, and the research shows us that a lack of awareness is one of the root causes behind employers not taking action or offering more support. Through our work with the Fawcett Society, we want to empower employers to provide optimal assistance to their staff, helping them to foster a fertility-friendly environment that not only draws in top-tier talent but also cultivates their success.”
Jemima Olchawski, Chief Executive of the Fawcett Society, added, “At the Fawcett Society, we believe in workplaces that work for all women, at every stage of our careers and lives.
“This report shows unequivocally that women, and especially minoritised women, feel the impact of fertility treatment on their ability to progress at work, but that supportive workplaces can make a huge difference in ensuring that women don’t need to choose between their job and their desire for children.
“Creating an environment which supports workers going through fertility treatment will result in happier staff, better retention, and better progression of talented women, all of which ultimately leads to an improved gender pay gap and more flourishing staff.
“We call on business and government to ensure that women are not left behind at work because of fertility treatment, with policies that prioritise flexibility and compassion.”
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