Since the world’s first IVF baby was delivered in the U.K. in 1978, more than 10 million infants have been born via assisted reproductive technologies.

This has caused a change in social attitudes around talking about fertility. The days of not discussing such issues are long gone, including in many workplaces. Big tech companies even started offering fertility benefits about a decade ago. And while critics at the time saw this as a controversial perk – a “bribe” for delaying pregnancy – governments are now prioritizing work-related fertility provisions in countries such as Malta, South Korea and Japan.

Efforts to support people’s fertility journeys in this way, however, are often more common in the developed world. They’re also more likely to benefit certain kinds of employees, say academics from the U.K.’s University of Central Lancashire and Manchester Metropolitan University.

Their article on the development of workplace fertility provisions is part of a series called Women’s Health Matters that’s been curated by a team of female editors at The Conversation. The piece looks at the evolution of attitudes toward fertility benefits and gives some ideas about how to make access more equal around the world.

Pauline McCallion

Senior Business Editor, The Conversation U.K.

Fertility is becoming a workplace issue but employer support can create winners and losers

Krystal Wilkinson, Manchester Metropolitan University; Clare Mumford, University of Central Lancashire; Michael Carroll, Manchester Metropolitan University

The landscape has been shifting when it comes to employer interest in employee fertility journeys.

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