Blog

March 24, 2021

Based on median earnings for full-time, year-round workers, women are paid 82 cents for every dollar paid to men.  Vermont Commission on Women (VCW) presented the second in a series of Equal Pay Day video podcast conversations on March 24th, the day into the year women need to work before their earnings catch up to those of men in 2020 due to the wage gap.

This podcast conversation centers on the ways COVID-19 impacts decisions that women and their families are making.  It touches on career choice and advancement, including occupational segregation.  It explores the critical role of women as essential workers and as early care and education providers in keeping women in the workforce, while calling attention to how their worth is not reflected in earnings or status. Guests recount personal stories reflecting on the challenges and gifts of this time as women working in Vermont.  The podcast concludes with a hope-filled discussion about this unique opportunity to reconstruct and rebuild systems back to be more equitable.

Our guests include educator Lara Scott, the director of Mobilization of Volunteer Efforts (MOVE) at Saint Michael’s College, and Sarah MacDonald, assistant director and classroom educator at the Early Learning Center in Colchester.  The conversation is introduced by VCW's executive director Cary Brown and moderated by VCW Commissioner Kellie Campbell, Chief Technology Officer at Vermont Tech and Chair of VCW’s Education and Human Development committee. 

This podcast addresses equal pay day and the wage gap for all women in the U.S. VCW’s first podcast launched March 9th, Asian American and Pacific Islander women’s equal pay day, and featured a conversation with Bor Yang, director of the Vermont Human Rights Commission, Senator Kesha Ram, and VCW Chair Lisa Senecal. You can view it below.  As the year progresses VCW will produce episodes marking equal pay days for mothers on June 4, for women living with disabilities who work full-time on June 13, for Black women on August 3, for Native American women on September 8, and for Latinas on October 21. They plan to launch a podcast focused on the LGBTQIA+ community during national Pride month, on June 28.

With these video podcast conversations, VCW hopes to raise awareness about pay equity, and the ways racism, sexism, homophobia, and ableism intersect, creating much larger wage gaps for women of color, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and women living with disabilities. Another goal of the project is to listen to women about their experiences with pay inequity, how it impacts them, and what they think could help.

Watch the podcast on YouTube, or listen to it through SoundCloud or iTunes.

March 9, 2021

The Vermont Commission on Women (VCW) joins organizations nationwide in drawing attention to Equal Pay Day each year.  Equal Pay Day symbolizes how far into this year women must work to catch up to what the average white non-Hispanic man earned in the previous year.

The Commission is premiering a new video podcast series, the first of which launches today, March 9th, Equal Pay Day for Asian American and Pacific Islander women.  Guests on this first podcast include Bor Yang, director of the Vermont Human Rights Commission and Senator Kesha Ram. The conversation is introduced by the VCW's executive director Cary Brown and moderated by the Commission's chair Lisa Senecal.

Based on median earnings for full-time, year-round workers, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women are paid 85 cents for every dollar paid to white non-Hispanic men. While AAPI Equal Pay Day is earlier in the year than other Equal Pay Days, the average AAPI woman would still need to work until March 9th, more than 2 months extra, to earn what the average white, non-Hispanic man made in the previous year.  While that’s true, it’s also true that the AAPI population is far from monolithic, and for many of its diverse communities, the wage gap is much, much larger. (Un)Equal Pay Days would fall toward the end of the year for Vietnamese women (at $0.67 to the dollar), for Hmong women (at $0.61 to the dollar) and for Nepalese women (at $0.54 to the dollar).

With these video podcast conversations, VCW hopes to raise awareness about pay equity, and the ways racism, sexism, homophobia, and ableism intersect, creating much larger wage gaps for women of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and women living with disabilities. Another goal of the project is to listen to women about their experiences with pay inequity, how it impacts them, and what they think could help.

Watch this video podcast on YouTube, listen on SoundCloud.

March 8, 2021

Lt. Governor Molly Gray hosted an International Women’s Day “Seat at the Table” conversation on The Economic Well-Being of Vermont Women with Xusana Davis, the Executive Director of Racial Equity for the State of Vermont, Jessica Nordhaus, the Director of Change the Story VT, Meg Smith, the Director of the Vermont Women's Fund and VCW's Executive Director Cary Brown.  Panelists presented existing data and discussed policy changes and initiatives adressing the short-term and long-term economic needs of Vermont women as our state responds and recovers from COVID-19.  Watch this conversation on YouTube.

February 24, 2021

Coinciding with legislative action, VCW debuted a new information sheet about the issue of access to menstrual supplies. A bill regarding menstrual products, S.32, was introduced in the Vermont Senate to ensure students have free, immediate access to menstrual supplies within their school restrooms, and another bill, H.260 was introduced in the House to require availability in both public school restrooms and correctional facilities.  Two additional bills, H.53 and S.53 were introduced to remove the non-essential items tax.  Read our new info sheet.

February 16, 2021

(Montpelier) – Governor Scott has appointed Wendy Knight of Panton to serve a four-year term on the Vermont Commission on Women (VCW), the state’s non-partisan commission working to advance rights and opportunities for women and girls.

Commissioner Knight is a communications and marketing executive with over 20 years of government, corporate and entrepreneurial experience in advertising and marketing, food and beverage, healthcare, media, non-profit, and the publishing industries.

She’s held several leadership positions in Governor Scott's Administration, as Vermont Tourism and Marketing Commissioner, as a strategic lead for the state's economic development initiative Think Vermont, and as Vice Chair of the Vermont Outdoor Recreation Economic Collaborative, a private-public initiative to grow the economy and preserve our natural resources.  With this background in economic development, a focus that draws her to the work of the VCW is ensuring that women have economic opportunities and fiscal independence.  

A former freelance journalist for the New York Times, she has written four non-fiction books and appeared on NPR, CNN, and ABC News.  Her current work includes writing about domestic violence, a topic featured in her powerful and personal op-ed in USA Today about children living in abusive homes during the COVID-19 quarantine.

Commissioner Knight is the Chief Marketing Officer of Knight Automotive and a consultant to On the Fly, a women-led collective supporting Vermont's hospitality and tourism businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19.  She currently serves on the boards of the Vermont Futures Project, which provides data and research to achieve long-term economic growth in our state, and the Vermont Outdoor Business Alliance.

She is a former Select Board Member for the town of Panton and a graduate of Cornell University.

###

The Vermont Commission on Women (VCW) is an independent non-partisan state commission working to advance rights and opportunities for women and girls. Sixteen volunteer commissioners and representatives from organizations concerned with women's issues guide VCW's public education, coalition building, and advocacy efforts.

Pages

Subscribe to Vermont Commission on Women Blog Feed