This summer time I used to be at a gathering within the weeks after the Supreme Court docket choice placing down Roe v Wade. A senior govt from one of many nation’s largest companies was requested about his firm’s reproductive rights advantages. As is befitting of his firm’s measurement and stature, he sketched out, with some delight, its top-of-the-line well being care advantages. He went on to explain how happy–and relieved–his senior management staff was once they confirmed that their medical health insurance already coated journey for medical procedures. Which means it covers journey from states that prohibit reproductive rights to people who present abortions.
He was happy as a result of the journey provisions had been in place, sure. He was additionally happy as a result of it meant his firm didn’t should take any motion in these instantly post-Roe days. As a substitute of getting to “make a press release,” they may maintain their proverbial company head down and never threat “turning into a part of the story.”
Disaster averted. Sigh of reduction.
Besides perhaps not. As a result of typically remaining silent isn’t a bullet dodged, however reasonably a price postponed.
And the price, on this case, might be lots of the girls who work for–or purchase from, or put money into–your organization.
Girls can not afford to remain the place they don’t have help
Ellevest not too long ago launched its proprietary Ellevest Girls’s Monetary Well being Index. The index is the first-of-its-kind, quantitative measure of the monetary well being of girls within the U.S. It consists of inputs just like the gender pay hole, the supply of paid household depart, inflation, and girls’s illustration in authorities and company management. Additionally included is a measure of reproductive rights, provided that they’ve a elementary monetary influence on girls and their households.
This yr, the index has been declining quickly, partly resulting from restrictions on reproductive rights for girls, in addition to the rise in inflation and the tanking of shopper confidence, indicating that the monetary well being of girls within the U.S. has additionally been heading south. Actually, by the index’s measure, girls are in worse monetary form at this time than they had been within the depths of the pandemic.
We additionally shared the outcomes of our second annual Ellevest Monetary Wellness Survey. It’s maybe not stunning that this survey confirmed that greater than half of girls–and greater than 60% of millennial and Gen Z girls–mentioned that the overturning of Roe v. Wade has had a major influence on their psychological well being.
However make no mistake: They’re additionally making the connection to their pocketbooks. Millennial girls rank the restriction of reproductive rights as one in all their prime 5 monetary worries. For Gen Z girls, it featured in second place behind inflation–curiously, although maybe not surprisingly, a tie with local weather change. And lest you write this off as youthful “wokeness,” local weather change was a top-five monetary fear for girls throughout all age demographics.
There are three important takeaways for company executives:
Silence can price you girls workers
Girls report that they wish to work at firms whose values align with theirs: Some 44% of girls say they’d look to go away an employer whose views on reproductive rights don’t align with their very own. That additionally goes for 56% of millennial girls, 53% of Latinas, and 45% of Black girls.
So how are girls reacting to this quickly shifting panorama? Properly, they’re sending their resumes out. That’s proper: A full 55% are searching for a brand new job. And 38% report that they’re saving cash to allow them to depart their job.
This might harm.
Silence also can price you girls prospects
However the financial price of your organization’s silence could not cease there. It could actually hit the income line: 59% of girls–and two-thirds of youthful girls–say it’s vital for them to take a position and spend with firms that stand for reproductive rights. In different phrases, they could in actual fact need you to “turn out to be a part of the story.”
That would harm much more.
Firms are specializing in males’s prime monetary precedence
A ultimate perception for company leaders, from the survey: The Ellevest survey revealed that males’s prime monetary precedence is rising their retirement financial savings. Truthful sufficient. And right here your company profit plans–with their heavy emphasis on 401(ok)s–are usually on course.
Girls’s prime monetary precedence? “Supporting my household.” And understandably so, provided that our society expects girls to shoulder a disproportionate share of the household care tasks. This feels significantly acute, popping out of a pandemic during which girls had been the social security internet, and given ongoing financial uncertainty.
Company advantages plans are supposed to assist… effectively, not a lot. Solely 5% of the nation’s lowest paid employees, most of whom are girls of shade, had entry to paid parental depart in 2020. And even among the many nation’s prime 10% of earners, it’s solely 36%. To not point out versatile work insurance policies, baby, and household care help, and so forth. It’s one other model of silence on a difficulty that issues to each lady–on this case, her main monetary precedence.
So, company executives: Simply as your girls workers and prospects could misread your silence, don’t let her present silence lull you.
Sallie Krawcheck is the CEO and co-founder of Ellevest, the wealthtech firm constructed by girls, for girls. Beforehand, she led Merrill Lynch, Smith Barney, and Citi Non-public as CEO and was CFO of Citi.
The opinions expressed in Fortune.com commentary items are solely the views of their authors and don’t essentially mirror the opinions and beliefs of Fortune.
Extra must-read commentary printed by Fortune:
Join the Fortune Options electronic mail checklist so that you don’t miss our greatest options, unique interviews, and investigations.