Since our inception in 1964, the Commission has been called upon to provide information to the legislative and executive branches of state government on issues affecting women. VCW testified on these bills in the 2016 session:
S.15/ H.187 - AN ACT RELATING TO ABSENCE FROM WORK FOR HEALTH CARE AND SAFETY (Paid Sick Days). Link to testimony in Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs here, and 2015 session testimony in the House here and Senate here.
H.808 - AN ACT RELATING TO ACCOMMODATIONS FOR PREGNANT EMPLOYEES. Link to VCW testimony in House Committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs here.
H.620 - AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH INSURANCE AND MEDICAID COVERAGE FOR CONTRACEPTIVES. Link to VCW testimony in House Committee on Health Care here.
H.773 - AN ACT RELATING TO CLASSIFICATION OF EMPLOYEES AND INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS. House Committee on Commerce and Economic Development link to bill here.
FY2017 GOVERNOR'S PROPOSED STATE BUDGET. Link to VCW testimony in House Appropriations Committee here.
Link here to homeschooled student Kali Adams’ Dorothy Thompson: Finding the Truth. This website, created by Miss Adams, won the Deborah Pickman Clifford Vermont Women’s History prize at this year’s Vermont History Day. The prize, awarded through VCW's Education and Research Foundation, goes to the best project related to Vermont women in history at this annual event sponsored by the Vermont Historical Society. Miss Adam's thesis statement begins: "Journalist Dorothy Thompson wasn't afraid to write words she believed in. She was called the "First Lady of American Journalism" and the second most influential woman in America..." Dorothy Thompson: Finding the Truth also placed first in the senior individual website category and qualified for the National History Day competition.
In late April, the Vermont Commission on Women in collaboration with Norwich University’s Career and Internship Center presented American Association of University Women’s Start Smart salary negotiation workshop to students. The Start Smart Facilitator was Lindsey Lathrop-Ryan of Change The Story Vermont. Student participant seating is limited. Learn more about the Start Smart program here. This program was made possible by a grant from the New England Women's Policy Initiative through the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studeies at University of Massachusetts, Boston.
This day-long conference on Friday, April 15th was hosted by Vermont Law School's Women's Law Group, Law Students for Reproductive Justice and the Vermont Commission on Women. Sex, Race & Empowerment in the 21st Century offered an opportunity for participants to understand the impact of violence and the importance of providing legal and advocacy services to all survivors; and the importance of ensuring women's access to affordable and safe reproductive healthcare. Presenters included Cary Brown of the VCW, students and professors from VLS, staff from the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, The Pride Center of Vermont, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, and many others!
Throughout the U.S., women's organizations observe Equal Pay Day each April, symbolizing how far into the new year the average American woman would have to work to earn what the average American man did in the previous year, due to the gender wage gap. Median annual income for women working full-time year-round in Vermont is $37,000. That's $7,000 less than the median annual salary earned by men. This translates to a 16% wage gap in Vermont.
VCW, BPW, League members observe as House passes Equal Pay Day resolution
Upon opening of the day’s legislative session, House concurrent resolution 338 designating April 12, 2016 as Equal Pay Day in Vermont was read. Lead sponsors were Representatives Burke, Gonzalez and Morris, and Senator Bray, and the reading was observed by advocates for equal pay dressed in red, symbolizing women being “in the red” due to the gender wage gap. Read the resolution here.
(L to R) Cary Brown, Governor Shumlin, Tiffany Bluemle, Desiree Cerretani, Meg Smith
At 11:00 a.m. Governor Peter Shumlin signed the Equal Pay Day proclamation in his ceremonial office. Read the proclmation here. This event included the presentation of a new report examining occupational segregation, the uneven distribution of labor across and within employment sectors by gender, its impact on women’s wages, and the link to Vermont’s economic vitality. This new report, “Where Vermont Women Work…and Why It Matters” was developed by Change The Story VT, an initiative of three statewide organizations with longstanding focus on women’s economic well-being: the Vermont Commission on Women, the Vermont Women’s Fund and Vermont Works for Women. Equal Pay Day speakers at the proclamation event wereTiffany Bluemle of Change The Story VT, Cary Brown of the Vermont Commission on Women, Desiree Cerretani, a young mechanical engineer at UTC Aerospace Systems, and Meg Smith of the Vermont Women’s Fund.