This week, Maggie is chatting with Erika Seth Davies, the CEO of Rhia Ventures. In this episode, they talk about what corporations can do to support abortion access and other reproductive health issues.
Erika is a leader in impact investing, nonprofit and philanthropic with extensive experience in development and fundraising, program design, collaboration and partnership management, and racial equity advocacy. She is the CEO of Rhia Ventures where she directly oversees direct investments in early and growth stage-companies to create a vibrant US market for sexual reproductive, and maternal health that produces just outcomes for all.
Erika has worked in nonprofits and the field of philanthropy for 20+ years including positions as Associate Director of Philanthropy at McDonogh School, the Chief of Staff of the Baltimore Community Foundation and Vice President of External Affairs at ABFE: A Philanthropic Partnership for Black Communities. Erika has engaged in extensive efforts to advance the field on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. She designed the SMART Investing initiative, the first philanthropic effort to incorporate a racial equity lens in foundation endowment practice through increased access for minority- and women-owned investment management firms.
Erika speaks frequently and facilitates conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion through a race lens and has presented during conferences and convenings for Mission Investors Exchange, the Council on Foundations, the National Association of Securities Professionals, and Confluence Philanthropy among many others.
To learn more about Maggie and her coaching and speaking services, visit www.maggiegermano.com.
Maggie Germano 0:05
Hi, and thanks for listening to the money circle podcast. I’m your host, Maggie Germano, and I’m a feminist and a financial writer, speaker, educator and coach for women. I’m passionate about making personal finance less scary and more approachable so that women can improve their relationship with money and take control of their finances. Every other week, I will interview an amazing, inspiring woman to talk about the issues that impact our money, our health, our independence, and more. We will touch on the societal and structural issues that we need to work together to change and the actions that we each have the power to take in our own lives. If you’d like to learn more about me and the work that I do, visit my website at Maggiegermano.com or follow me on Instagram @MaggieGermano. Thanks again for listening and I hope you enjoy.
Maggie Germano 0:55
Hey there, and thanks for listening. I’m your host Maggie Germano. And this week, I’m chatting with EriKa Seth Davies, the CEO of Rhia Ventures. In this episode, we’re talking about what corporations can do to support abortion access and other reproductive health issues. If you are passionate about abortion, access and labor issues, this episode is for you. Enjoy.
Maggie Germano 1:25
Okay, welcome. Erika, thanks so much for being here today.
Erika Seth Davies 1:28
Thank you for having me. I’m thrilled to be here.
Maggie Germano 1:31
Great. So why don’t you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do?
Erika Seth Davies 1:36
Hmm. So Erika Seth Davies, she her pronouns, I am the CEO of Rhia Ventures. I’m also the founder of the racial equity asset lab. And I am a mother of two kids. So that is my life in a nutshell.
Maggie Germano 1:53
That’s great. And I only have one little kid at this point. So I commend you for being able to do all of that, and parent at the same time,
Erika Seth Davies 2:02
I do my best to change the world for these kids, next generation.
Maggie Germano 2:06
Yeah, I hear you. And so how did you find yourself in this line of work?
Erika Seth Davies 2:11
Sure. So actually, my background has largely been in nonprofit management, and then shifting into racial equity and impact investing through a series of, I would say, somewhat random career opportunities throughout my, my professional trajectory. And there was an important intersection when I worked for an institutional asset management firm. And that was my first interaction with capital markets and understanding finance and financial services. Before that, I had been working in nonprofits primarily as a fundraiser, thinking that’s how I’ve changed the world. And when I found myself in that organization, or in that firm, it was mind blowing, because I realized, like, this is actually what is having so much influence on society today, that this was how I was going to change the world. So I took that experience, and it was with a black owned asset management firm based in Baltimore. So I learned a lot about capital markets. But I also learned about who is a dominant force in those markets and who isn’t and how easy or not it is for women owned and bipoc own firms to access opportunity. And when I left there, and went to a new organization that was focused on racial equity in the field of philanthropy, I have this perfect setting to raise that question, raise those questions, because foundations have a mission. Right? So public pensions Don’t you know, high net worth individuals don’t necessarily have sort of a public mission, but relations do. And so it was this real, ripe opportunity to start having conversations about racial equity in financial decision making, specifically for foundation endowments, and everything kind of move forward from there.
Maggie Germano 4:13
Yeah, that’s really interesting. So it sounds like you were able to find kind of a, a combination, or at least along the way of the work, you were doing a combination of things that you were noticing and also passionate about and being able to find a way to combine the two to actually do things that will make a difference and change the things you were seeing that weren’t working.
Erika Seth Davies 4:36
Yeah, hopefully. But I think, you know, it is some of the work is starting to make a difference already. But that was the the, the way that I started to understand this world of impact investing where investors are trying to have a double bottom line impact. And but what I noticed was the conversations about environmental, social or government issues were not inclusive of discussion about race, race and racism, where disparities exist and what was driving them. So that’s been a lot of the work that I’ve done. And that eventually led to me starting the racial equity asset lab, but also, I’m having this position with RIA ventures, where we are leveraging capital to bring change to the reproductive and maternal health market, in a way that’s bringing innovation and equity to, to that space. So new for me in terms of the reproductive and maternal health, but understanding, quite frankly, the power of capital, in decision making to be leveraged for justice for Good is right up my alley. So that was ultimately what led me to the position with Rhia.
Maggie Germano 5:44
That’s great. And I mean, I’m sure you know, in the work that you have done in the work you are doing, the financial peace, and the access to reproductive options, and health care, those are all so LinkedIn, especially when when race is part of the issue as well, like they’re all just so interconnected to each other.
Erika Seth Davies 6:02
And we’ve been able to carve out a unique space that is not I don’t believe, especially based on the the way that folks have responded to some of our work that is crowding out, or taking up too much space, where a lot, I think other voices should be present. So we’ve tried to be very careful about how we should be mindful of how we show up as an organization and the work that we do, and how to even push ourselves challenge ourselves to center equity to bring voices to the table that are often marginalized. And then how does that affect the recommendations, the policy that we are trying to advance? How does that affect our own practices as an organization? So it’s dynamic, and we absolutely do not get it right. I don’t get it right, as a leader, but I think it’s worthwhile to keep pushing me keep trying.
Maggie Germano 7:04
Oh, yeah, no, I agree. And so can you tell me a little bit more about what RIA ventures really does? Like, what the whole like the mission is, and then what that actually looks like on the ground? Sure. Yeah.
Erika Seth Davies 7:16
So we are, it’s a hybrid organization, to be honest. So it’s two entities. So re adventures, our mission is to catalyze a vibrant, reproductive, sexual and maternal health market for all women and birthing people. And so we want to bring innovation and a focus on equity to that space. And we do that as a as an organization through impact investing through ecosystem building and support through corporate engagement and through narrative change. So our impact investing work is done through our wholly owned subsidiary, RH capital, which is a venture fund a traditional venture fund. But because it’s situated within the 501 C three, its impact first, in terms of the investments that are made out of that fund, so before any financial due diligence is pursued, the team is looking at whether or not it’s in alignment with our mission, and whether or not those companies that are pursuing funding through through the venture fund are either transforming the market in some substantive way, increasing access, increasing affordability or addressing health equity, addressing some bias either in the system or in health equity outcomes. So that guides the decision making. From there, we take on a normal due diligence process. So that’s what makes us unique, is the fact that we have this particular structure, and I think the model that we offer, and it’s one that could even be replicated in other sectors, when you think about, for example, like the care sector, where it’s funding innovation, right like that there’s a way of funding and sort of perpetuating that ownership of capital, and then what can be done with it. So we’re, we’re committed to the model making that work, but then also making sure that we’re strengthening the ecosystem for this work as well. So understanding our role and supporting companies, other investors, kind of engaging with the reproductive rights and justice movements, so that we are aligned, and understanding what some of the issues the barriers are that, like our work can actually impact. So that’s why our corporate engagement work is so important. And that’s how that was developed, as well, kind of looking at what’s the role of the private sector and all of this. It’s kind of gotten away without being challenged on what’s being offered from companies, right, like our health insurance or health care is tied to our productivity essentially, because that’s only offered, generally offered through your employer, unless we’re going to access unless you’re accessing public benefits. And that’s a challenging system as well. And so the the private sector definitely has a role to play in this within the fight for reproductive rights. Because that’s health care. I’ve you know, regardless of all of the the narrative that’s been shaped around it, and this pitched battle, this is, but one method of health care for for women and pregnant people, and it needs to be made available and safe environment. So that corporate engagement work is connected to that. So on the one hand, it’s pushing companies and offering ideas and policy recommendations for, you know, internal HR and benefits policies. But we also do shareholder advocacy. So one is the carrot the other stick. And that’s kind of turning to investors, as owners, and asking them to leverage that role, to challenge some of the spending that companies are doing at this time, in terms of their their public policy or their political spending. So making sure that that is aligned with their values. So you can’t get out here talking about, you know, we’re, you know, supportive of gender equity and racial justice, but then supporting public policy that is harmful, intentionally so to, to those same communities and some same groups. So that’s how some of that work has been shaped. And then in terms of our ecosystem building, making sure that companies are equipped to access the Medicaid market, for example, we did a Medicaid Learning Collaborative so that we’re bringing that innovation into spaces where it’s needed most. And supporting companies in some of that work. Were thinking about and looking at other ways of supporting some of these connections between the markets that are very often overlooked? And how do we make sure that companies are understanding and have you know, developing go to market strategies that are more inclusive? Yeah, so that’s, that’s some of the work that we do. It’s a lot,
Maggie Germano 12:06
ya know, and it’s really interesting, because it’s like you were saying, it’s definitely it sounds like, it’s different than a lot of how kind of it’s been historically of, you know, these, you know, nonprofit organizations or other community organizations kind of trying to, like, get people involved in raising money and, and being the like, on the forefront of that. And not necessarily talking about it in terms of like having that capital backing and having these companies kind of think about things like you were saying with like, what is the role of the private sector? And how are they really needing to get involved in solving some of these problems, not only, you know, on the reproductive rights and access side, but in lots of things, like you were saying, with racial justice, and equity, and just across the board, because I know, as you were talking, I was thinking about how a lot of, you know, big companies will, will say things during certain times, like, you know, saying black lives matter and make changing their like logo to be the pride flag and things like that. And then you kind of look at where some of their money is going. And some of the politicians they might be supporting and things like that. And it’s often at odds. And so, yeah, so so I’m so curious to hear more about how you kind of view that responsibility and how you kind of work with companies to make that more of in sync process.
Erika Seth Davies 13:37
So great question. Thank you for asking it. So on the side of our corporate engagement, we’ve released two papers of two reports. hidden value, the the keys for reproductive care, and from here to maternity, the business case for maternal health coverage within companies. And so that’s just a spark a conversation about what could you be doing like what’s covered currently, in your health insurance plans? A lot of times, they just don’t know. Are you going above and beyond ACA requirements? Are you thinking about really what’s half the workforce and what’s needed to keep women and birthing people in the workforce and supporting them with what is an essential part of like society? So how are we shaping the the environment to ensure success, right, and so if we’re so focused on abortion access, which again, health care access, it’s a really important aspect of it. But if we’re so laser focused on that, then we’re missing the point of the exercise around like, the breadth of what is needed in terms of reproductive and maternal health and supports. And so that’s everything from you know, doula coverage. care, you know, 12 months of contraception access? That’s childcare for like, it’s it’s so many things. And so how do we create more of an environment that’s intentional about making sure that people can be successful and healthy, and, and whole within the workforce. So that’s one way that we have tried to enter the space by again, just making information available making the case. So people, whether they’re in HR, or government relations can think about oh, wait, you know, this actually does affect our bottom line. This is a retention strategy. This is part of our recruitment strategy. And so making that those resources available, and we’re always happy to have a conversation. And that actually, it’s interesting, because it sparked the review of our own policies, as an organization. And we’re going through a whole review to make sure that we’re in alignment with the very policies and the recommendations and best practices that we’re putting out there. And it’s been interesting, because of the, you know, the questions that we’ve had to ask, in terms of our administrator, Benefits Administrator, and, you know, what can we make available to our employees, we’re a very small team, so they’re things that scale prevents us from doing? And then how do we find other ways of making sure some of those resources are accessible? So it’s actually I think it’s a great problem solving, it’s right, like, it’s, again, making sure that fully one half of the population is able to function really well, successfully. And then in terms of that shareholder advocacy, we will write letters for investors to submit so we, you know, start with the the letters to companies, you know, kind of making a certain request for a conversation about XYZ policies. And we know that you’re supporting this, have you considered this alternative, that would be more in alignment with your stated values. And from there, that process can go all the way to submitting shareholder proposals, and during proxy season to actually get votes and the shareholder meetings. And so I think last year, we submitted a proposal that was presented at the Home Depot, shareholder meeting, I believe it received 38% support, which was pretty significant, because it represented an increase over the previous year, and it was around political spending. So this was after the the January 6, insurrection, and companies have made statements about pulling back their campaign contributions from both sides. This was an both sides issue, like this is a threat to democracy versus not like participating in democracy. And so that that level of accountability and transparency needing to be part of the process as well. So that campaign spending is an incentive. Right. Like, we got to get clear about some of this, this both sides think it’s not.
Erika Seth Davies 18:00
It’s not parity, this false equivalence going on here and kind of getting clear about that with with companies. Yeah, that’s, yeah, I was just gonna say abortion is a really interesting and tricky issue, because it’s always been considered a private matter. So racial justice, and some of the policy around LGBTQ inclusion, that’s identity and right like and bringing your whole self into an environment but abortion is one of those personal private concerns and there’s still a lot of stigma associated with it. So the willingness of employee resource groups to speak out on it or individuals within an environment I think is is hard and I legitimately so I’m so we feel like we can offer some strategy for how to think about that.
Maggie Germano 18:56
Yeah, that’s so interesting, because I agree with you like it it should be this like personal decision that you’re making on your own or with your partner or with your doctor whoever, rather than it having become this massive political conversation that’s used as like a upon you know, in these political conversations and making women and other you know, childbearing folks very nervous and obviously affecting them every day already right with like Texas and the ban and all that so
Erika Seth Davies 19:29
Who does it harm the most?
Maggie Germano 19:33
Women of color.
Erika Seth Davies 19:35
And low wage workers. It’s right like it’s, that’s who’s harmed and that’s the problem is it’s actually this is not a benign issue, it actually creates harm and these ripple effects and I often wonder, like, is the cruelty the point? Because I cannot figure out otherwise what the what the point of some of this it’s,
Maggie Germano 19:57
I mean, it does seem like it right like it I mean, in some Some politicians use language around that of like, well, that’s like, that’s what happens when you’re, you know, having sex or whatever, like you just, that’s your punishment. Like I thought, I thought that this was supposed to be a positive thing and, you know, family values and having kids like I thought that was supposed to be a good thing, not a punishment. And like you were saying, our system is set up in such a way where healthcare is not affordable, it’s not easily accessible, it is almost always through your employer and you and even then, like, you don’t often have a lot of choices in terms of what your healthcare coverage is through your employer. And then the lack of childcare and paid family leave. And all those things like that’s just ends up being this huge snowball of difficulty and pain and harm against women, folks of color, families, generally of not having financial options and not having time to rest, to take to recover, to take time off to be able to be sick. I mean, we’re still in a pandemic, and they’re still not like universal paid sick leave for folks as they need it. And it’s just all of it really snowballs to just harm communities,
Erika Seth Davies 21:20
you use that word rest, and it’s such an important word, because it’s almost like we’ve made determinations of who’s entitled to arrest and who is, who is it. And it’s watching how everything unfolded in the in the pandemic, and let’s, we’re still gonna keep things normal. And you know, folks talking about nobody wants to work anymore, not acknowledging that nearly a million people died, right. Like, it’s, it’s part of this as well. So it’s so much of the work, I think, is also about the narrative, and how we can change that narrative as well. The storytelling, the mental models that are holding so much of this harmful practice in place, it’s just has to change, which is why your your podcast is so important, like this is this is how that that happens is having a different conversation, and trying to get that out to as many people as possible.
Maggie Germano 22:18
So, thank you, and and regarding that narrative change, what are some of the ways that you kind of encourage organizations companies to kind of change the way we’re talking about this so that it isn’t this taboo topic and this topic that people just kind of want to shy away from and let people sort of like deal with it, which then leads to, you know, sweeping legislation that people don’t really know how to fight? What how do you kind of encourage a change?
Erika Seth Davies 22:47
in that there are so many ways, but I think one is can repeating over and over again, this fact that abortion is healthcare, this is a health, it’s a procedure, it’s a medical procedure, and to deny it is to deny someone access to the health care that they need. So we’ve politicized healthcare access, yet again, in a way that, again, it’s going to create harm. So I don’t need to know why you are accessing an abortion at all, like you, you need this for your health care. And that should be perfectly legal and available to you as an option. So I think kind of shifting some of that. One of the things that I found very interesting is, for the most part, most Americans actually support access to abortion. And so continuing to lift that up, which is why that corporate accountability piece is so important, because people are being funded, like their their campaigns are being funded to keep this madness going, quite frankly. And that’s not actually what people want, is not actually what the public wants. And so kind of getting some of this information into, into our conversations on a regular basis so that we are understanding really what we’re talking about. I think it’s also interesting, and should be discussed, regardless of how much of a hot button issue it is that the same states that are passing these restrictive abortion laws are also passing, passing voter restriction access, right, like, it’s almost that Venn diagrams, almost a circle. So what are we really talking about here? Right, like, is it really abortion access? And there’s a whole generation of people who believe fundamentally that they’re saving lives, or was it something else? And I would argue it’s always been something else, right? Like it’s always been maintaining a racial hierarchy and using the political process to do that, which is why those voter restriction laws look the way they do and harm the communities that they are. And so having a very clear and honest understanding of what that is, so that we can organize appropriately right so that we and kind of mobilize in the right way we can’t, we can’t do reproductive rights without understanding and addressing voting rights access. So it’s they got, they got to go hand in hand. So I think some of it is even for the strategy for folks who want to see this work move forward, is to understand its roots. And if you get a sense of root cause, then you you know, where to target your your intervention. And I think that’s been absent, the conversation for far too long. So we’re seeing more engagement around reproductive justice, which is developed and led by women of color, again, most harmed, being centered in the in the conversation. But we’ve still got a long way to go one on all of those things. But that’s important for the narrative as well. It’s not just targeting folks who are opposed to what we’re doing. It’s like actually getting our games. Right, right, like getting an understanding of what it is that we are dealing with, as well.
Maggie Germano 25:53
Right? Because if like you were saying, if people aren’t making the connection between reproductive access and voting rights, and race and socio economic issues, like, if we’re not all making those connections, a lot of people might think, Oh, the abortion conversation doesn’t affect me, or the Voting Rights conversation doesn’t affect me. And so they’re kind of checked out and not engaging and not mobilizing like you were saying, but when you are making those connections, and showing that, like you said, the Venn diagram is a circle, and a lot of this is deliberate. And a lot of these efforts are these bad efforts by certain politicians are happening in tandem with each other, that can get people at least hopefully more engaged and more angry and motivated to actually either organize on their own or like you said, Follow along with women of color, follow what they’re doing, support them give money where it’s needed. And, you know, get engaged in those other ways. And yeah, like you were saying, like, just having, you know, white women centered in the abortion conversation, as it I think has for a long time. It doesn’t tie into those other issues, and it can make other people feel left out or unheard. And also just not touched on the root causes and the root problems of the issue.
Erika Seth Davies 27:19
Yeah, and it, it lowers, I think the bar for what we expect, right and lowers the bar for what the fight actually is. And so if we think about the acceptance of the Hyde Amendment, that hurt a particular group of people, so that was a sacrifice that was made. And that is part of why we’re having this issue right now. Or this conversation right now. So we cannot leave people behind. And if you can, reach, reach to the margins, right? And reach to where the very intentional policy choices for very long time, where people have been pushed to the margins, if we can develop strategies that ensure those groups of people are brought to the center and addressed, then everyone will benefit. Like, it’s just that is that is what happens when, when we, when we set our equity and our work, it’s does not have to be a zero sum game. And everyone benefits, but there’s often a fear of like, I’m going to lose a thing. If if we do that we’re all losing right now. So it’s not working. So let’s try a different strategy.
Maggie Germano 28:40
Right? It’s like the opposite of the trickle down economics, where if you’re supporting the richest and the whitest, in the in the country, they’re just gonna somehow trickle down their wealth, like that’s not a thing, but supporting the most marginalized folks and the folks that have been overlooked or intentionally harmed, you know, over the course of history, bolstering them and bringing them to the center and supporting them like will actually benefit everybody.
Erika Seth Davies 29:09
So the othering and belonging Institute, I think it’s at Berkeley, but John Powell produced a really great video about targeted universalism, and how well we have universal goals that we want everybody to achieve. It kind of clarifies or sets the expectation of what you have to do to make sure everybody can achieve. And you’ve got to look, you’ve got to develop your your strategies in a way that meet people where they are. So folks are differently situated for a whole host of reasons. And we’ve got to address all of that along the way so everybody can get to that goal. And I think it’s a brilliant frame. And if we could just look at this work through that same lens and it would mean a lot more success. And then even in terms of like some of the columns building that needs to happen. It’s so much opportunity so much.
Maggie Germano 30:05
Yeah, no, I love that. And what is some of the advice you would give for? I mean, I guess, thinking about purely from like the corporate side, you know, our business side, what is some of the advice you would give to folks say, say someone in HR is listening or someone, an executive at an organization or on a board is listening to this? And there, they are starting to think like, oh, yeah, I should actually be thinking about things in my organization, not just giving money outside of this, but not effecting change within where I really have power. What is some advice you would give these folks for, you know, filling some of those gaps for abortion, access of that equity, equity conversation? What’s that advice you’d give?
Erika Seth Davies 30:53
So if you’re in HR, find out what’s in your policy, what’s covered, start asking some of those questions to see what our healthcare coverage because the last really people don’t know. It’s just like, Okay, we provided this, this package at this price point, and we’re not digging in to see what’s what’s in there. So actually having those conversations to make sure that some of that is is covered. So again, you know, access to contraception, access to abortion, what are the minimums for some of the ACA requirements and making sure that you’re at the very least doing that, and kind of exceeding that, looking at your HR policies in terms of leaf and what supported they’re making, excuse me, if you’re a big enough company, and you’ve got multiple sites in different states, ensuring that there’s equity and access so that you’re providing funds for travel, and accommodations if employees need to go to a different state to access an abortion. So kind of getting an understanding, like what’s in our policy, what’s in our package, right, and addressing those things, and we have some resources, you know, available on our site. To help with that. I would also even suggest for and this doesn’t apply to the, we’ll say high wage earners, the white collar jobs, but across the board, asking the question of HR, what is included in my buy insurance in regard to some of these these issues or concerns, and where the organizing is happening and employee resource groups? I think there’s a lot of influence that can come from within I think a lot of the statements that were made in 2020, following George flirts murder and the this period of racial reckoning, I think that was driven by employee questions and pressure, right like that was coming from inside the house. And this is a similar issue where this can come from inside the house as well, again, where people are asking the questions and then pushing their their employers to to address it in some way, shape or form as they saw, like, you know, Salesforce for example, offered to move any employees who are Texas, they would, you know, pay for for them to move to a different place. The Don’t be any quality list of companies is another one that have basically kind of signed on to to a state and around abortion access. So kind of joining on, right, like we’re other companies have stepped in and are no longer, you know, fearing to tread on some of these topics that you’re aligning with, those are finding out where there is some energy and how other companies are dealing with this, if you’re in HR, I know their HR groups are here. So ask how other people are handling it so that you can start to build that case, then also understanding the data. What is the data telling us about support for these issues? You know, looking at it in regards to retention, again, your ability to recruit right, like so starting to think about how you make even the case within your company if it’s not available at this time, and making it a comprehensive view, as well. So like we were saying, it’s not just abortion access, it’s all these other things that go along with that of being in the workforce, and not being male and white cisgendered.
Maggie Germano 34:28
Yeah, right. Because you were saying earlier obviously abortion affects at least 50% of population, right? Because it’s either you like, you know, you need health care regardless and we need right reproductive health care regardless and abortion is a big piece of that and, and even if it does need to go just to the dollars in just to the bottom line, like you were saying, making sure people your employees are getting the support that they need and getting the actual access that they need so that they can be productive employees in the organization, if we’re only going to think about it in terms of how we can produce. It’s important, right? It’s not just some kind of niche issue that people don’t in companies don’t have to think about.
Erika Seth Davies 35:15
No, because that can be the decision and staying in the workforce will not wait, think if I if I have to do this, if I am not ready to have a child right now, or, you know, again, doesn’t matter why this is a decision I need to make. If I can’t make it, then I may have to make other decisions to pull me out of the workforce or reduce my productivity or reduce my trajectory. And so you know, coaches are talking about wanting to see more women and women of color and the leadership ranks. Well, you have to make sure that all the things that surround being a woman are supported, and that in this society that has everything to do with reproductive maternal health is even the Okay, so I’m having it decided to carry a pregnancy to term. Do I have access to the doula to support me through that process? And we know doulas is an intervention for for black women can improve maternal health outcomes. And so when we look at even those outcomes around maternal morbidity and mortality, they’re abysmal in the United States in general, and particularly horrible for for black women. And so what are some of the things that are surrounding that? as well? So that’s what I mean, like, it’s not just about the abortion access, we can think about this more holistically than I think we can certainly in the private sector around some of these policies. And all he said, I’m insurance are covering all these access to resources and supports would help tremendously. that folks may not need it. Right like that. That may not even be the issue, but if it if it is, and it’s available, and it’s there.
Maggie Germano 36:55
Yeah, absolutely. And you mentioned Salesforce offering to move folks out of Texas, if they so choose, are there other strategies companies can take when there are states that are implementing abortion bans or other restrictions that that you see as an option for folks to help their employees?
Erika Seth Davies 37:15
Yeah, again, making sure that the resources are there for travel for lodging for rest, so that people can, you know, to your earlier point, take the appropriate time, to be able to, to get there to heal. And to come back into the workforce, there’s just really basic things that can be done to make sure that’s that’s either covered and done in a way that respects privacy. And so I think that’s probably one of the things that can can happen to ensure that people don’t have to sacrifice their livelihood in their living for again, a medical procedure that should be accessible.
Maggie Germano 38:00
Yeah, no, I totally agree. And is there anything else that you want to make sure listeners know, regarding? Getting capital to these issues that need it, as well as how companies can actually get behind these different issues and support to move things in the right direction? Anything that you haven’t mentioned yet?
Erika Seth Davies 38:26
You know, it’s interesting, because I more than anything, just think, wherever it is that you sit, you can start asking these questions. And so whether it’s in the position that actually makes this happen, or you are in the workforce, that there’s an awareness of what you could be asking for. And then when those questions are repeated, over again, that like, that’s, that’s a signal as well. So, you know, we’re at an interesting moment in labor and the United States. And I think it’s a power move at this point, to be clear about the conditions under which we care to work. And this is part of that and making sure that it is on, on the list of things to to discuss to ask about if you’re searching for a position to make sure you’re asking about it. So that again, that signal is loud and clear that people are paying attention to what kinds of companies they’re working in, or want to work in. And so while we’re at this moment of inflection, where there’s a lot more influence and power in the hands of of the workforce of workers, that that that becomes part of the conversation as well.
Maggie Germano 39:40
Yeah, I love that. And that just brings up something that I talk about when I’m talking to clients who are talking about negotiating salary and things like that and like, you know, it matters that you are going to be happy with this company that you end up working for. It’s not just about you being the good employee and the company wanting to hire you And I think that we have lost in the past lost sight of that where it was like the corporate overlords and the The bosses are the ones that had kind of all that power. And we were sort of just the, you know, cogs in the machine. You know, but but the people who are the cogs in the machine are the only way that the machine keeps moving, right where like, actually, like you’re saying, the labor force, the people that are moving things along and producing and all that. And so it’s so important that we are getting the support, we need the compensation, we need the time we need from our employers to make sure that we actually can be healthy humans.
Erika Seth Davies 40:40
And at this moment, again, at this moment, that’s all on the table, right? So continuing to push for these changes, and the way that we think about labor, and we can have a whole conversation about the connection of slavery. But that’s not that is not this discussion. But like, I think we can have a different set of expectations. And it goes to changing that narrative about, like, you know, folks don’t want to work. No, folks don’t want to work for you and your bad conditions. That’s, that’s not the same thing. And guy continuing to push back on some of these false narratives as well is like, again, that’s what this is about. And you know, really happy about your podcast to be able to do some of that.
Maggie Germano 41:26
Thank you. Yeah. And I’m really happy that you’re doing the work you’re doing too, because I think that it’s, it’s so needed, and it really connects so many different issues that are so important that need to be connected. So how can folks learn more about RIA ventures and your other work?
Erika Seth Davies 41:44
Yeah, so they can go to Rhia ventures, rhiaventures.org. That’s where you can download the reports that I mentioned, the case for hidden value. And from here to maternity to get some insight, we have a one pager about things that companies can do, as we are marching towards this decision, when Roe v. Wade, excuse me, we will be in the coming weeks putting more of the coverage that we’ve received up on the website and some of the webinars where we’ve been participating. So folks will have access to even more information to help them, make the case make decisions, ask the right questions. And we’re always here to partner. And so you know, when you were just saying like when you’re when you’re coaching folks in negotiations and stuff like that, like we’re happy to kind of give you a list of questions that you can encourage people to ask when they are in that process. And make a determination based on responses, but really, kind of adding to the list of things that we expect when we’re in this process. So we’re here. And I’m happy to be a partner to different organizations as well.
Maggie Germano 42:57
That’s great. And I’ll be sure to link the website in those reports that you mentioned in the show notes too. So folks have easy access. Yeah, but I wanted to thank you again for taking the time to share your experience and expertise here. It’s a really interesting topic.
Erika Seth Davies 43:12
Thank you. Again, it’s been a delight to meet you and to be on the podcast so I appreciate it,
Maggie Germano 43:17
Maggie Germano 43:22
Thanks again for listening to the money circle podcast. If you want to learn more about my financial coaching services, my speaking and workshop offerings, or just to read my blog visit Maggiegermano.com. To get in touch with me directly email me at [email protected] You can also follow me on Instagram and Twitter @MaggieGermano. I look forward to hearing from you. Bye bye
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