Breast pump startup Elvie brings 'milk express' and 'pumping parlor' to CES moms
Elvie, the U.K.-based maker of silent, wireless, wearable breast pumps, is plugging its technology at CES by offering a “milk shuttle service” for moms attending the week-long tech show, which it criticizes for having a "poor track record on gender diversity."
The brand promises to collect milk from moms attending the show—which sprawls across 11 sites in Las Vegas—and deliver it to medical-grade refrigerators for safe storage. Other CES services include a nursing lounge that Elvie calls the “pumping parlor,” which is located at the brand's exhibit in the Sands Expo convention center. Elvie is also handing out “Milk Stork Pump & Totes,” which moms can use to tote their milk back home.
Elvie, whose products include an app to track milk volume in real time, positioned the offerings as a way to combat the tech industry’s poor track record on women’s issues. “Women are still overlooked at large conferences, especially in the tech industry,” Elvie states in a video touting its CES services. The video shows a helicopter dubbed “Mammary One” delivering the tote bags to Vegas.
Elvie cites research showing that 44 percent of women avoid big industry events because of poor lactation facilities, with only 24 percent of working moms calling conferences “breastfeeding friendly.”
“It’s no secret that CES has a notoriously poor record on gender diversity,” Elvie says in a statement about its milk service.
CES in 2018 came under fire for having a lack of solo female women keynote presenters. Several women are slated to participate in keynote discussions this year, including Linda Yaccarino, chairman of advertising and partnerships at NBCUniversal, and Quibi CEO Meg Whitman. But CES organizers are catching some heat for the selection of Ivanka Trump for a Tuesday afternoon keynote on “the future of work.”
“There are many more women who are in tech and are entrepreneurs who could run circles around Trump on how technology will impact the future of work,” Carolina Milanesi, founder of a tech market research firm called Founder of The Heart of Tech, wrote in Forbes.
Elvie’s milk tote bags are a lot more on-trend than the swag bag CES is giving out to show attendees. The CES-branded bag is made with a see-through plastic, a curious choice considering that CES presenters are putting an emphasis on sustainability.