• Our organization/business already does a lot around pay equity; OR, Our organization has never considered pay equity before. Is this initiative for my business?
YES! All Vermont employers interested in helping to close the gender wage gap in Vermont are encouraged to participate, regardless of their previous experience with gender/pay equity.
• How much does it cost?
It is FREE to sign on to the Equal Pay Compact.
• Who else has signed on?
See the full list to the right of this screen--> Click through to visit their business website. It's over 140 employers so far! Including businesses large and small from all over Vermont from a wide variety of industries.
• Will businesses be "graded" on performance?
NO. The Vermont Commission on Women does not grade employers on their equity performance. Staff are available to consult with employers about what strategies would work best for them, and what role they could play to improve pay equity in their organization, in their industry and across Vermont as a whole.
• Who should sign on to the Vermont Equal Pay Compact?
All Vermont employers interested in helping to close the gender wage gap are encouraged to participate, regardless of their previous experience with gender/pay equity.
- Our organization already pays all of our employees equally, is this initiative for us?
YES! Even if no wage gap exists at your business there are still plenty of ways for your organization to help close the wage gap in Vermont. Plus, you can stand in solidarity with all the other signers of the Compact!
- My organization has never considered gender/pay equity before, is this initiative for us?
YES! The Vermont Commission on Women can help you examine ways to support working women at your organization and beyond, and can help address any issues that may exist.
- I am a self-employed person. Can I sign on to the Compact?
YES! For similar reasons outlined above, we would love to have you sign on!
• What do employers get for signing on?
RECOGNITION AND SUPPORT. We offer a list of strategies to consider and resources to inform employers about the wage gap. Every signer receives a static-cling decal in the mail to display in their business or organization’s window, and their business name and website link will appear on the list Compact signers to the right of this screen-->. We feature signers on our social media pages and organizations can opt to be featured in our promotional efforts.
• How are employers held accountable once they sign on?
Staff will be in touch with your organization/business periodically to check in about progress towards closing the wage gap. There are no reports or tests - only the offer of support and assistance to keep this initiative moving forward!
• I'm not a decision maker for my organization– how else can I support the Equal Pay Compact?
HELP US SPREAD THE WORD! Introduce us to your employer and let them know why working for a business that supports working women is important to you. Invite us to your networking event and post about the Equal Pay Compact on social media!
• What other benefits are there to signing on?
Your business or organization will be able to attract and retain the highest level of talent in Vermont by cultivating an equitable workforce. The Compact recognizes that employer commitment is essential to closing the wage gap in Vermont. In fact, employer interventions are among the most effective remedies to the wage gap and can contribute to lasting, positive change in the workplace.
The Vermont Equal Pay Compact is a powerful way to recognize the loss our economy suffers when:
- Vermont women earn only 83% of what Vermont men earn – resulting in millions of dollars of lost income that is not going into our economy
- Vermont women are underrepresented in the jobs that pay the most, and overrepresented in the lowest-paying jobs
- Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) occupations, and the opportunities they bring, are dominated by men
- There is tremendous untapped potential in Vermont women who don’t see opportunities or who aren’t able to access them, and Vermont girls who don’t get the education they need to enter the highest-paying professions
Questions? Concerns? Contact us.
QUOTES FROM COMPACT SIGNERS
“The Vermont Equal Pay Compact aligns with our values and supports two of our strategic goals -- to create a diverse, inclusive and equitable community as well as a community where we excite, engage and empower our employees. Taking this step forward marks the progress we have already made on gender equity in our workplace and holds ourselves accountable for our strategies and commitments into the future, to ensure that we deliver on our educational mission.”
-Katie Hawley, Vice President for People, Strategic Communications and External Relations, Champlain College
"I am personally committed to promoting women in our workplace, ensuring we have women occupying our highest positions, and offering equal pay for equal work here at Sugarbush. We have never had more women sitting on our Executive Committee than we do today. Of the 49 men and women who comprise our group of Vice Presidents, Directors, and Managers, 17 are women. We are committed to promoting the most-qualified candidates to leadership positions at Sugarbush, and often those candidates are women."
- Win Smith, President, Sugarbush Resort
“Vermont Student Assistance Corporation is proud to sign on to the Vermont Equal Pay Act Compact. We have a long tradition and commitment to equal treatment and pay for our employees, regardless of gender, sexual orientation and race. In addition to offering paid family leave and offering paid sick days to allow employees to care for sick family members, VSAC also conducts internal audits of employee compensation to maintain equity in pay as well as conducting comparative professional reviews and promotions. In signing on to the Vermont Equal Pay Compact, VSAC pledges to bring wider diversity of representation to search committees and recruitment of executives.”
- Scott Giles, President/CEO, Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC)
Signing onto Vermont’s Equal Pay Compact was a no-brainer for us. The Permanent Fund’s mission is to make high-quality, affordable early care and learning a reality in Vermont. We know that working women are significantly more likely than men to live in poverty, in part because in most cases they have the main responsibility for the care of young children. We believe offering family-friendly policies and doing our part to help close the gender wage gap are important ways we can help more women to stay and thrive in the workforce.
- Aly Richards, CEO, Permanent Fund for Vermont’s Children
"The Vermont Land Trust (VLT) protects land for the future of all Vermonters. The number of farms operated in Vermont by women is among the highest in the country and we are proud to assist in making that possible by helping keep land available for those that wish to farm. VLT's Farmland Access Program connects enterprising farmers of all genders to land where they can support themselves and their employees through successful agricultural businesses. VLT believes in equal opportunities for women (and all genders) in the working landscape and at the workplace. This belief is reflected in our employee culture, where we openly discuss power, privilege, equity and fairness."
- Teija Huttunen-Green, Director of Operations & Technology, Vermont Land Trust
"Vermont Energy Investment Corporation is committed to paying our women the same as their male counterparts and we are proud to share our story and help others along their journey. We signed the Equal Pay Compact to demonstrate our commitment and we encourage other employers to do the same."
- Erika Schramm, Director of Administration Services, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation
"Signing on to publicly voice our commitment to equal pay was the easiest choice I can recall making in years. If, as an employer, I had any doubt about how important it is to be clear about such a commitment, I'd hope my friends, family, and staff would gladly embarrass me for it. Frankly, I'm embarrassed that as a community we still have so far to go on such a basic issue of fairness and equality."
- Wes Hamilton, Owner, Three Penny Taproom/Mule Bar/Mad Taco
"Gardener’s Supply Company is proud to join Vermont's leaders in ensuring that women in business earn equal pay for equal work. As an employee-owned company, every woman who works for Gardener’s Supply has an equal chance to become a business owner, and is equally responsible for our company's success. So we, of course, are committed to equal pay.”
- Jim Feinson, President and CEO, Gardener’s Supply Company
"Norwich University has been in the business of educating and preparing leaders of character and purpose who build, strengthen and protect our nation and our communities. We hold in high esteem our people and our reputation. We are proud to sign the Vermont Equal Pay Compact."
- Lisa Yaeger, Director of Human Resources, Norwich University
“As the first woman president of Paul Frank + Collins, I couldn’t be happier to sign onto the equal pay initiative. We have long been committed to holding high standards for equalizing pay in our law firm to eliminate the gender gap. As I review the strategies document, I see many areas where we shine, supporting both women and men with flexibility, generous paid leave benefits, and training, mentoring, and support for employees across our organization. We readily signed on to the Vermont Equal Pay Compact and are inspired to support women into executive management positions in the firm, and to further improve our firm’s strategic goals toward equality among a more diverse firm culture.”
- Stephanie J. Mapes, President, Paul Frank + Collins
"Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility is a strong supporter of equal pay for equal work. Equal pay is an equality issue, a human decency issue, and an economic issue — it makes good business sense. We recognize that It is time to level the playing field and we support the Equal Pay Compact.”
- Jane Campbell, Executive Director, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility
"Equality is the right thing to do. It's also enormously valuable to our business and clients. Providing equal challenges, opportunities and rewards regardless of gender is critical to attracting, retaining and motivating highly talented and skilled people"
- David White, White + Burke Real Estate Investment Advisors, Inc.
"A commitment to equal pay policies makes us more competitive, allowing us to recruit and retain qualified people to government work. This is a process that requires a long term commitment to both creating and maintaining a just compensation system. We are pleased to join in the Compact and work toward our goal of recognizing and rewarding all of our employees."
- Seth Leonard, Mayor, City of Winooski
Vermont employers learned more and signed on to the Compact at the Vermont Chamber Business and Industry Expo and Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility's (VBSR) Conference, and the Vermont Development Conference. Our very special thanks to Main Street Landing for sharing an exhibitor table at VBSR's 2017 spring conference and at the Vermont Chamber Business and Industry Expo!
THE COMPACT GOES ON THE ROAD
Thanks to all who attended our Brattleboro Equal Pay Compact Networking & Exchange event earlier this summer. We love learning and listening to our Signers! Read more about the event: Equal Pay Compact Sees Rapid Expansion (from VTDigger)
At our Brattleboro Compact event: (l to R) VCW Commissioner Kerry Secrest, VCW Director Cary Brown, DOL Women's Bureau Regional Director Jackie Cooke
COMMISSION ON WOMEN CELEBRATES 100TH SIGNER TO VERMONT EQUAL PAY COMPACT
January 25, 2017 (Montpelier, VT): The Vermont Commission on Women’s Equal Pay Compact, a voluntary online pledge enabling Vermont-based employers to learn more about and to indicate a commitment to closing the gender wage gap, just celebrated an important milestone: the 100th employer to sign on.
“This project launched on Equal Pay Day 2015 to inform employers about practical steps they can take to eliminate the wage gap in their business and across Vermont.” says Cary Brown, Vermont Commission on Women’s Executive Director. “Legislation alone can’t fix this: employers are the key. We provide consultation and a list of strategies employers can draw on, anything from quick and easy fixes, like enlisting diverse evaluators in the hiring process, to more complex ones, like creating flex time, job sharing, and telecommuting programs. The idea is to inspire positive change in employer practices.”
Seth Leonard, the Mayor of the City of Winooski, explains why they signed on to the Equal Pay Compact. "A commitment to equal pay policies makes us more competitive, allowing us to recruit and retain qualified people to government work. This is a process that requires a long-term commitment to both creating and maintaining a just compensation system. We are pleased to join in the Compact and work toward our goal of recognizing and rewarding all of our employees."
Kelly Walsh, advisor and recruiter to the project, continues. “Vermont is chock full of socially responsible employers working hard to do all the right things for their employees, and this is a great way to spotlight and acknowledge those businesses. For employers who want to attract and retain female employees, being listed on the Vermont Equal Pay Compact’s site is a public expression of support.”
The Equal Pay Compact is one way in which the Vermont Commission on Women works as a partner in Change The Story Vermont, along with Vermont Works for Women and the Vermont Women’s Fund. Change The Story is an initiative to align policy, program, and philanthropy to significantly improve women’s economic status in our state. For more information and to sign up for the Compact, please visit women.vermont.gov.