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

February 19, 2019

(Montpelier) – The Senate Committee on Committees has appointed Lisa Ryan of Rutland to serve on the Vermont Commission on Women.

Lisa Ryan is the Program Manager of the Rutland County Community Justice Center at BROC Community Action, where she provides restorative justice practices, including Circles of Support and Accountability (COSA) and Restorative Circles, to the offender population.  This work involves addressing crime and conflict through dispute resolution, training community volunteers, and overseeing reentry and reparative programs.

Lisa’s passion for connecting with others and building strong relationships allows her to participate in various leadership roles within her community.  She serves on the Rutland City Board of Aldermen and is the former First Vice President of the Rutland Area Branch of the NAACP.  In September of 2017, Lisa was awarded the title of one of Vermont’s “Rising Stars” by VT Business Magazine and in 2018 she was voted Rutland Young Professional (RYP) of the Year.

She holds a Master of Science in Mediation and Applied Conflict Studies from Champlain College and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Temple University.  Lisa is a mediator, facilitator, and restorative justice practitioner and trainer.

February 14, 2019

Vermont Department of Libraries presents another speaker for the state employee speaker series "Tuesday Talks." This month the event will be on February 19 from 12-1pm at the Pavilion Auditorium in Montpelier.  The topic will be "Vermont Women: The Pay Gap, Representation, and Advancement" and the speaker will be Cary Brown from the Vermont Commission on Women.

We’ve come a long way since women were paid 59 cents to men’s dollar, but women in Vermont are still playing catch up. In Vermont, 43% of women working full time aren’t making enough to cover their basic needs, and they’re seriously underrepresented in many fields and at the highest levels of leadership. But Vermont is also ahead of the pack in many ways when it comes to women’s advancement, and we’ll talk about the good news as well as the challenges on the horizon.

Cary Brown is the Executive Director of the Vermont Commission on Women, a state agency working to advance rights and opportunities for women and girls since 1964. She’s worked in the gender equity field in Vermont in nonprofits, educational institutions, and government. She lives in Montpelier with her family, where she is a Justice of the Peace.

For more information, please see the event poster here . Please feel free to share the poster and event information in your departments. For more information please contact April Shaw ( ).

Tuesday Talks is a speaker series presented by VTLIB during the lunch hour one Tuesday each month. The topic and speaker will change each month, but will always be relevant to events or trends in Vermont that affect state employees.


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