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May 30, 2019

Montpelier, VT – Are you a trainer or advisor on workplace equity and inclusivity issues in our state, or have you worked with one?  What trainings would be most helpful in your workplace?

The Vermont Commission on Women is currently compiling online educational resources and a directory about work-related discrimination and sexual harassment prevention. The Commission is inviting interested members of the public - employers, workers, non-profit organizations, advocates, and businesses - to provide input and guidance, and to help “crowdsource” experts, resources and information.

Input is being collected through two online forms, both of which can be found on the Commission’s website (women.vermont.gov):

  1. Anyone interested in sharing educational resources, or being included in a directory of trainers, providers, experts and organizations about workplace equity and discrimination prevention should complete the Commission’s online Contact Form at www.surveymonkey.com/r/VTpreventiontrainers.
  2. The Commission is also conducting a Workplace Training Survey for anyone who is a Vermont employee or an employer. This survey will help the Commission gauge what types of information and training Vermonters feel are most needed in their workplaces. The survey is accessible online at: www.surveymonkey.com/r/VTtrainingneeds

The information gathered will be used in a statewide public education and outreach campaign later this year, which includes a new workplace discrimination prevention website.  The project is a result of the passage of recent legislation which allocated funds to the Vermont Commission on Women, in consultation with the Vermont Attorney General’s office and the Vermont Human Rights Commission, to inform and assist Vermont employees, employers, businesses, and members of the public about these issues.  “We aim to make it easier for Vermonters to access the information, training, and education they need to create better workplaces for everyone in Vermont,” Commission Director Cary Brown said.

May 13, 2019

One year ago this month, Gov. Phil Scott signed into law a piece of legislation that moves Vermont a step further down the road to pay equity. On Monday, May 13, the Bennington Branch of the American Association of University Women will host a public meeting to celebrate a stubborn victory that will have an enduring impact on the economic lives of Vermont's workers, particularly women.

Read more here.

May 9, 2019

A year ago this month, Governor Phil Scott signed into law legislation that moves Vermont a step further to pay equity. On Monday, May 13, the Bennington Branch of the American Association of University Women will host a public meeting to celebrate a stubborn victory that will have an enduring impact on the economic lives of Vermont workers, particularly women. The meeting at the Bennington Free Library will begin at 7 p.m. The statute prohibits employers from asking job candidates for their salary history, thereby breaking the pattern of chaining future salaries to often-low past salaries.  It is now imbedded in Vermont Labor Law as 21 V.S.A. 495m. The Bennington Branch of AAUW collaborated with national AAUW and with the Vermont Commission on Women (VCW) to press legislative committees to advance this bill into law.

At the meeting, Cary Brown, VCW executive director, will speak about the work to improve the lives of girls and women in Vermont and their priorities for the year ahead.

Women in Vermont still face inequities in earnings, employment, safety, leadership and many other areas. The VCW is the only entity in our state that explicitly considers the broad implications of state policy and budget priorities for women. This independent nonpartisan state commission is governed by 16 commissioners and an advisory council that includes an AAUW representative from the Brattleboro Branch.

April 12, 2019

VCW's Cary Brown with partner initiative Change The Story's Tiffany Bluemle, take a deeper look into Bloomberg News ranking VT best state for gender equality based on five categories, including pay ratio by gender, female labor force participation, college degree attainment, health care coverage and women in poverty.   What is progress? Who is getting left behind? Can we set the bar higher?

Read this April 9th VTDigger opinion editorial here.

April 2, 2019
Sharing Governor Scott's press release, 02 April 2019

Montpelier, Vt.—Governor Phil Scott today signed a proclamation recognizing April 2, 2019 as Equal Pay Day in Vermont, highlighting the gender pay gap between men and women’s earnings and the importance of promoting women’s equality in the workforce.

“Closing the wage gap will undoubtedly have many positive outcomes for Vermont. It could reduce Vermont’s poverty rate, generate millions in our state’s economy and help attract more working families to Vermont,” said Governor Scott. “More importantly, it would help put us one step closer to providing equality for all because that’s the right thing to do.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Vermont’s gender wage gap is 14 cents, with women receiving an average of 86 percent of men’s earnings. Vermont currently ranks sixth in the nation for gender earnings ratio, a ratio that is even lower for women of color and women with disabilities.

“Vermont stands out in the country in the progress we’ve made bringing women’s wages up, but the health of our entire economy depends on making sure that all Vermonters’ contributions are valued, that everyone has access to opportunities that use their full talents, and that no one lags behind,” said Cary Brown, executive director of the Vermont Commission on Women. “Equal pay is an essential part of that picture.”

Governor Scott signed the proclamation at an Equal Pay Day event, joined by members of the Vermont Commission on Women, the Legislature and representatives from advocacy groups, including the League of Women Voters, Building Bright Futures, Evolve, Girl Scouts and the Women Business Owners Network.

The full proclamation can be viewed at https://governor.vermont.gov/content/equal-pay-day-proclamation-19-031.

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