Hello, Broadsheet readers! Female board members like Mary Dillon are top contenders for Starbucks CEO, France maintains its burkini ban, and we are all awaiting this decision from the Supreme Court. Have a good Thursday.
– Patience game. It’s Thursday morning on the East Coast, and in less than an hour the Supreme Court is expected to hand down a batch of decisions again on the remaining cases on its docket this quarter. We don’t know if a final decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization will be made public this morning – the court is also due to deliver its verdicts on Friday – but one thing is certain: a decision will be made soon.
In the meantime, it might be useful to hear from business leaders how they prepared for the likely end of Roe vs. Wade. One such leader is Maura Keaney, senior vice president of commercial banking at Amalgamated Bank. Despite the company’s positioning in a conservative industry, it has long been a proponent of reproductive rights.
The bank’s connection to the problem dates back to 2009, when abortion provider George Tiller was killed by an anti-abortion extremist in Wichita, Kansas. A former associate of Tiller tried to reopen the abortion clinic, but community and regional banks wouldn’t offer him a line of credit, citing a lack of credit history and high risk. Amalgamated Bank, which calls itself “the bank for people who care about what their money is doing in the world,” secured a line of credit using a certificate of deposit purchased by one of its lenders. “She was able to get a line of credit, like any other business would” to open the Trust Women clinic, Keaney says.
With $57 billion in assets under management, the 99-year-old institution is the largest B-corp certified bank in the United States. So when abortion rights appeared to be in jeopardy in some states, and now nationwide, this wasn’t the first time Amalgamated had navigated similar social issues. “It’s a long way for Amalgamated to come,” says Keaney.
With policy changes underway long before the Supreme Court leaked in early May, the bank was able to quickly announce new benefits, including reimbursement of abortion-related travel expenses for employees and their dependents and the launching a reproductive health care fund.
“As an employer, we believe our policy is comprehensive,” says Keaney. “But as a socially responsible company, we speak out publicly in favor of the right to choose. We believe this is a business issue, an employer issue and a social responsibility issue. It is up to us to talk about it. »
The bank has spent the past few weeks engaging with other companies and external partners, including Ben and Jerry’s and Patagonia.
With a Supreme Court decision expected shortly, Amalgamated’s actions may offer lessons to the many companies that have yet to weigh in on Roe’s end. “The urgency, the immediacy is definitely going to change,” Keaney says. In a few days or even minutes, these companies may no longer have the ability to remain silent.
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