Tech colossus IBM is pioneering a unique service, that lets working mums ship their expressed breastmilk to their babies. It’s the latest in a series of bold moves by large employers, aimed at retaining their valuable female workforces.
In what’s believed to be a first of its kind, IBM is about to introduce a service to allow breastfeeding mums to ship their milk via temperature-controlled packages, back home to their babies when travelling for work. The company isn’t yet sure how many employees will actually use the service.
“We are going to experiment with this and see how many women are interested,” says Barbara Brickmeier, vice president of benefits at IBM in Fortune. “As long as it appeals to a segment of our population and they feel that they can better balance their work and home, we will continue it.”
Like in Australia, employers in the US must make provisions for nursing mums to have access to a private space and reasonable break times to express. But this new service goes one step further, so working mums travelling for business aren’t forced to express, and then throw away their milk.
It comes after Facebook and Apple offered to pay up to $20,000 for female employees to freeze their eggs, while Richard Branson recently offered some Virgin employees a whole year of parental leave at full pay.