Last week, we were asked by Accenture, (the multinational professional services company that specialises in IT services and consulting) to attend an event in London, for their employees who are TTC
The Accenture team asked that we be there to offer our support and guidance, along with some of our trusted fertility experts and IVF babble ambassadors. Of course, we jumped at the ask, excited that a large corporate company wanted to offer such compassion and care to their employees.
It was a lovely event, held in a private space in a bar in London. Together with the Accenture team, we discussed in advance the importance of a relaxed atmosphere, where men and women could chat to us and our experts about the problems they were facing whilst TTC. Together, we wanted to support their employees, and offer them trusted, practical guidance, along with the most important factor – a large comfy shoulder to lean on. (The Accenture team also went one step further and provided lovely cold glasses of fizz and and nibbles for everyone!)
We met such lovely people, all of whom were lost though, having either been through IVF, or just about to start a fertility journey. Each person needed to download, to tell their story, and to be listened to. They needed a holding hand to steer them in the right direction, to learn about their options, and to be connected with trusted fertility experts.
For the team at IVF babble, we know only too well, having ridden the rocky rollercoaster of fertility treatment ourselves, that these conversations with people who “get it” can change lives.
We are thrilled that Accenture is just one of several companies that have realised the importance of looking after their employees who are trying to conceive. After all, we can all agree that trying to balance the emotional and physical pain of infertility and the logistics of IVF treatment with all of its appointments and scans whilst at work can be really damn tough.
We do it though don’t we? But at what cost to our mental health?
How many of us have lied about why we needed time off when we were going to appointments at our fertility clinic?
How many of us have not told a soul at work about the strain of TTC and undergoing IVF?
How many of us who don’t have the care at work have found ourselves crying silently in the bathroom when a round of IVF just didn’t work again?
How many of us have forced a smile so hard on our faces as we listen to others in the canteen talk about their kids?
How many of us have said nothing to anyone at work about the strain on their relationships due the pressure of TTC?
How many of us have sat in board meetings trying to focus on the matter being discussed, but the whole time wondering what we could do differently next time?
How many of us have not wanted to go to work because of the lack of support?
The answer? Millions of us around the world.
Fortunately though, the awareness surrounding fertility and reproductive health at work is increasing. Employers are slowly but surely seeing the importance of supporting their employees – not only those who are struggling to conceive, but those who are going through the menopause, just like Accenture, who provides fertility and adoption navigation support, as well as reimbursements for adoption and surrogacy fees.
This support really is essential at such a vulnerable time in your life. If you are unsure as to whether or not your company offer this support, speak to your HR manager.
Ask them if they offer fertility support. You never know, they might just offer what you need –
A fertility support group
Time off for fertility appointments at your clinic
If they don’t, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can connect you with some of the amazing women who have started their own fertility support systems in their workplaces.
Learn more about Accenture here, as Sara, co founder of IVF babble talks to Nicki Jarvis, an Accenture employee about her own fertility journey, and how she coped with both the roller coaster of emotions and the practicalities of injecting whilst still having to work.
Nicki tells us how Accenture is supporting their employees, with “fertility holidays”, meaning employees can have paid leave to go to clinic appointments. She also explains how she is helping to support men and women in the company who are struggling, by offering a safe space to talk. She has also set up “Fertility Fridays”, a monthly webinar in which she invites experts and guests to come and talk about topics affecting those with infertility.
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