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Where Vermont Women Work and Why It Matters

Among the Where Vermont Women Work and Why It Matters findings:

  • Women who work full-time struggle to make ends meet.
    • Of the 15 occupations in which women’s median annual salaries top $35,000, nearly half are in male-dominated fields.
  • Occupational segregation, the uneven distribution of labor across and within sectors by gender, is the norm – not the exception – in Vermont.
    • In 15 of 25 major occupational categories tracked by the U.S. Census, either men or women are 70% or more of all workers.
  • Forty years after Title IX, women’s work continues to be women’s work.
    • The gender balance in most traditionally female occupations has remained nearly constant from 1970-2013. Nearly half of women working full-time in Vermont continue to be employed in the same occupations in which they worked forty years ago.
  • The next generation of female electricians, coders, and engineers isn’t in the pipeline.  
    • Young women are a small fraction of students who completed computer science, engineering, trades and technical programs at state career and technical high schools: 9% of those in information technology; 6% in manufacturing; 6% in transportation; and 5% in architecture and construction.
    • While the gender breakdown is essentially equal among high school students taking Advanced Placement (AP) tests in calculus, chemistry, and biology, young women are a minority of students earning college degrees in physics, chemistry, computer science, economics, and engineering.
  • Occupational segregation is costly – not just for women, but for employers and the Vermont economy.
    • Nearly 60% of high-wage, high-demand entry-level occupations are those in which women are a significant minority of workers. Occupational segregation limits the pool of potential workers for jobs employers need to fill.

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