“The renewed struggle of the American people is a stark reminder to our community that we must increase our efforts here at home.”
A group of Canadian tech entrepreneurs and investors have signed an open letter urging employers of United States (US) workers to offer support to those affected by the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
“As women in technology, we fight for equal opportunities every day, but this is different. This is a fight for basic rights.”
Since the Supreme Court’s decision last week, NPR reported that abortion is now criminalized in at least 11 states. Meanwhile, twelve other states have laws that allow abortion to be quickly banned or restricted.
In response, Mars Discovery District Senior Vice President of Venture Services Krista Jones posted an open letter on LinkedIn with at least 50 signatures from Canadian women in tech.
Co-signatories include prominent figures in the Canadian tech and innovation space such as Plum CEO Caitlin MacGregor, Willful CEO Erin Bury, Borrowell Co-Founder Eva Wong, StandUp Ventures CEO Michelle McBane, Nudge Co-Founder and CEO Lindsey Goodchild, Two Small Fish Founder Ventures partner Eva Lau and InBC CEO Jill Earthy, among others.
The open letter urges companies to rethink their internal policies, such as providing relocation support to employees who may wish to relocate to an area where abortion is legal. It also listed corporate health benefits and paid time off or volunteer days to allow employees to work with reproductive rights organizations.
“The renewed struggle of the American people is a stark reminder to our community that we must increase our efforts here at home,” the letter said. “As women in technology, we fight for equal opportunities every day, but this is different. This is a fight for basic rights.”
At the same time the letter was published, a growing list of Canadian tech companies with American workers expanded their benefits to cover the costs of employees who must travel out of state to access health and reproductive services.
RELATED: Canadian tech companies extend support to US employees after Roe v. Wade ruling
Toronto-based 1Password is one such company, which has offered to cover up to $5,000 in out-of-state travel and related expenses for U.S. employees and dependents living in states where they are unable to receive reproductive care otherwise covered by the company’s benefit plans. . BBTV also announced that it will cover travel expenses for abortions for its employees in the US.
Other Canadian tech companies that have joined the movement include Nuvei, Lightspeed Commerce, Hopper, Shopify, Benevity and Clearco.
In addition, the open letter also encouraged donations to causes that support abortion rights in the US, such as Planned Parenthood, Abortion Finder, the Latina Institute and the Afiya Center.
The signatories also call on the tech and innovation economy to continue hiring and funding women in tech in the US and Canada. “It has never been more painfully obvious that representation matters,” the letter said.
Featured image by Gayatri Malhotra via Unsplash.