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KETU 2085 - Covering Egg Freezing cost for female employees and work life balance

Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Autumn 2019-2020

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English


Basic knowledges in gender studies and social policies are required.

Course Description

n 2012, two major High tech companies, Apple and Facebook, have decided to support their female employees by covering part of the cost of freezing their eggs. The very idea is to propose a way for women to pursue a career without having to sacrifice being mothers or having a family life. In all post-industrialized countries, motherhood gaps in careers and wage are observed: mothers are less paid and/or have less career chances than childless persons and/or fathers. The patterns of professional life are not adapted for the two-earners with equal careers model, and in the same time they do not fit to the reproduction process. After their study, young women have to find a job, and for the most educated ones, they have to show their involvement to their employer to be promoted. The requested steps in their career have to be achieved at a certain age. Finally, a huge proportion of women have to give up having a child because of their age, and part of them faces infertility. The aim of the case study is to analyze the effect of the policies implemented in Apple and Facebook on gender equality and on society in general. Through simulations and role-playing, students are expected to question these measures with a short and long term perspectives. Theoretical as well as empirical approaches will be used to raise the major issues at stake.


PERIVIER, Hélène (Economiste, PRESAGE - OFCE)

Pedagogical format

Sessions are built to raise the majors issues related to this type of policies. They are organized by an increasing level of the dimension: from the firm level to the global and international context. Students are divided in 5 groups, representing different stockholders, for all sessions. They have to prepare the session through literature research (academic but also institutional and all form of relevant documents) in order to represent the interest and the position of the group they belong to. A teaching presentation introduces or concludes the session to enlighten the major the theoretical concepts used and /or the empirical studies and methodologies that help to analyze the issue.

Course validation

The participation and the involvement of students during the role playing and the simulation will be evaluated as the document of preparation for each session (reading and writing brief notes on relevant topic regarding the session). The literature research provided for each session on which the discussions and simulations will rely, will be evaluated regarding its relevance and also the diversity and the quality of the selected references.


Reading texts and different documents. Research and analyses related to the session and the role played. Preparation of the argumentation related to the role played by the group of students. Active oral participation and involvement during the class.

Required reading

  • Folbre N., The invisible Heart, Economics and Family Values, The New Press, 2001
  • Perrons D., 2003, “The New Economy and the Work–Life Balance: Conceptual Explorations and a Case Study of New Media”, Gender, Work & Organization, Vol.10, Issue 1, pages 65–93, January 2003
  • Waldfogel J., “Understanding the "Family Gap" in Pay for Women with Children”, The Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 12, No. 1 (Winter, 1998), pp. 137-156
  • Grimshaw D. and J Rubery, ‘The Motherhood Pay Gap. A Review of Issues, Theory and International Evidence”, Working Paper, n° 1-2015, ILO, 2015

Additional required reading

  • Haraway D., “A Cyborg Manifesto. Science, Technology and socialist-feminism in the late Twentieth Century”, 1985
  • West C. and D.H. Zimmerman, “Doing gender”, Gender & Society, Vol. 1 No. 2, 1987