Companies often provide various perks to working mothers to help them balance their job and family life. But, International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) has gone one step ahead. The company will launch a service in September that will let its female employees on business trips ship expressed breast milk to their babies, according to a report by Fortune.
IBM will transport the breast milk in temperature-controlled packages to the babies. The company has reportedly taken the initiative to draw and retain female employees. However, it is unsure about the number of women who would utilize the service.
"We are going to experiment with this and see how many women are interested," Barbara Brickmeier, vice-president of human resources at IBM, told Fortune. The company said that it will keep the program running even if only a few women take advantage of it. "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," Brickmeier said.
Moreover, the mothers need not worry about the cost of shipping as IBM will pay for the packaging and delivery expenses, CNN Money reported.
Although the New York-based company is yet to chalk out further details of the program, it reportedly plans to create a smartphone app for the shipping service. It will allow the employees to state the hotel where they would be staying, so that the temperature-controlled packages will be ready when they arrive, Laurie Friedman, IBM spokeswoman, said, according to Al Jazeera.
Breastfeeding mothers on work-related trips often find it difficult to store expressed milk. While other companies often reimburse employees who ship breast milk to their babies during such trips, IBM was taking the move a step further, Friedman said, according to CNN Money.
In an effort to bring a balance in work and family life, various technology companies have come up with employee benefits. Last year, Apple and Facebook said they will cover egg-freezing costs for female employees.