Ice Queens

By Dana, Rebecca | Newsweek, January 30, 2012 | Go to article overview

Ice Queens


Dana, Rebecca, Newsweek


Byline: Rebecca Dana

They save their eggs and thrive at work. Diane Sawyer's secret to resetting the biological clock.

Some bosses offer dating tips. Diane Sawyer counsels her colleagues on freezing their eggs.

The anchor of ABC's World News has long been a sounding board for her famously hard-working staff on a host of personal issues, from dating to the more complex realities of a demanding career. A recurring theme with women: finding time away from the office to meet a partner and have kids before they hit 40. It doesn't always happen, as Sawyer, who first married at age 42, well knows. When it doesn't, Sawyer sends her workers to New York University's Fertility Clinic.

There, Dr. Nicole Noyes, a favorite of East Coast media power women (and a periodic guest on their TV shows), helps her patients get closer to reproductive autonomy. Three quarters come in because they aren't ready to have children yet. Some are sent by their parents: I know you want to work, but I want grandkids someday. Many are furious their doctors didn't tell them about egg freezing sooner. "I want to send Diane a basket of flowers for what she's doing," says one childless 40-something in the media.

Noyes's clinic is one of three national leaders in the practice of vitrification, a relatively new technique for freezing unfertilized eggs. In the last few years, vitrification has yielded higher success rates, of around 40 percent, than traditional freezing methods--thanks to the fact that it does not create ice crystals, which can destroy eggs. And unlike embryo freezing, it allows women to choose the child's father when they're ready to conceive.

The process may be a blessing for the well-compensated women who work for Sawyer. In 2011 around 40 percent of college-educated working women over the age of 40 were childless, says Sylvia Ann Hewlett, an economist who studies gender and workplace issues. …

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