PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to explore factors influencing decision making about disclosure of assisted reproductive technology (ART) use in the workplace.Design/methodology/approachA qualitative study design was used. In total, 31 women and 6 men who were using or had recently used ART were recruited from British fertility networks and interviewed. Data were transcribed verbatim and thematically analysed.FindingsTwo main strands were identified each encompassing two themes: “Concerns about disclosure” covered the very personal nature of disclosing ART treatment and also career concerns and “Motives for disclosure” covered feeling which was necessary to disclose and also the influence of workplace relationships.Research limitations/implicationsThe relatively small, self-selected sample of participants was recruited from fertility support networks, and lacked some diversity.Practical implicationsClarity about entitlements to workplace support and formal protection against discrimination, along with management training and awareness raising about ART treatment is needed to help normalise requests for support and to make decisions about disclosure within the workplace easier.Originality/valueThe study has highlighted an understudied area of research in ART populations. The data provide insight into the challenging experiences of individuals combining ART with employment and, in particular, the complexity of decisions about whether or not to disclose.
International Journal of Workplace Health Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 2, 2017