Why Europe Needs Fertility Benefits Now

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The European tech ecosystem is booming and capital is coming from all parts of the world. Were there already 60 unicorn startups back in November 2020, the number has quickly increased to 70 in June 2021. Generally, the amount of unicorns – and scale-ups following their footsteps – is a great indicator of the maturity of an ecosystem leading to an ever growing talent scarcity and a steep increase in salaries.

In the so-called “war for talent” that follows, it is becoming increasingly common for unicorns and scale-ups to steal talent from each other. Especially in Europe where the local talent pool is pretty closed and simply too small to cater for this hunger for growth, this battle leads to a tense situation where companies fight over every talented employee. As Michael Becher, Chief People Officer at weFox puts it: “”We don’t need more money, we need the right people in Europe”.

So, how do you convince highly skilled talent to work for you if they could be working for any company out there?

Obviously, general compensation as well as equity in the company are among the first factors that potential new hires compare between employers. But money is by far not everything to be an “employer that everyone wants to work for.”. In a time where purpose and being “supported in life” are increasingly important to people, the overall benefits structure of a company is becoming a main convincing factor.

Generally, employees have a good overview of different benefits packages at potential new employers – even internationally. As the pandemic has given remote work a huge push, European companies are increasingly competing against US employers and their – often significantly bigger – benefits packages. This is especially true when US employees are asked to move over to Europe and compare their compensation packages “in the old world” to what they are used to. Consequently, offering on par benefits that can compete with other global companies is at the heart of attracting top talents and creating a diverse and inclusive workplace.

This is where Fertility & Family Forming Benefits are entering the plot. While they are just starting to conquer Europe, almost 50% of US companies with more than 500 employees are offering some form of fertility & family forming support to their employees – making them the standard that European unicorns and scale-ups will have to compete against moving forward.

Adding Fertility & Family Forming Benefits to your European team becomes even more of a no-brainer if you are already offering them to your team in other parts of the world because being treated equally is one of the core values for many employees.

Obviously, the positive impact of inclusive benefits are not only visible when it comes to hiring new talent but also play a big role for retention because high attrition rates are among the biggest challenges for scale-ups and unicorns. Making sure that your employees feel well treated and supported are the main drivers for their loyalty and performance.

You may be saying that your staff doesn’t need fertility benefits because nobody asks for them. As infertility is still a widely stigmatized topic that oftentimes leads to social isolation and mental stress, it is unlikely that employees will openly approach their employer about it – especially in Europe. However, what happens on a regular basis is that we at OVIAVO are approached by employees asking us to get in touch with their HR teams to discuss fertility & family forming benefits in their name – anonymously. So don’t expect employees to openly voice their needs until the topic gets more standardized.

You may also be thinking: “Well, but with the salary our employees are earning, they are well able to pay for their fertility treatments themselves.”. That may be the case – and that’s great. But by adding fertility & family forming benefits to your company you do so much more than “just” paying an additional amount of money.

You acknowledge that there are biological differences between men and women and that it is not fair to put that burden almost entirely on women.
You acknowledge that there are different ways of starting a family – and that no way is better than the other.
You make a strong statement telling your (future) employees that you support them in their family journey – no matter what that may look like.

It may be this combination of financial support and understanding that might be the deciding factor for top talents to join your company.

As Lindsay Ross, CHRO at Bitpanda, puts it: “Reducing borders around talents is just a huge game changer. We want to empower people to choose what’s right for them individually because everybody’s life circumstances are totally different.”

Consequently, employers can become companies “everyone wants to work for” by offering attractive compensation packages plus inclusive benefits that show they really care about their employees and their well-being.

Jenny Saft

Jenny Saft

Founder of OVIAVO

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