Equal Pay Day 2016: Where VT Women Work...And Why It Matters

Issued 4/8/16

WHAT:  Equal Pay Day.  Throughout the nation, women’s organizations observe Equal Pay Day each April, symbolizing how far into the new year the average American woman would have to work to earn what the average American man did in the previous year due to the gender wage gap.  In Vermont, median annual income for women working full-time year-round is $37,000.  That’s $7,000 less than the median annual salary earned by men, and translates to a 16% gender wage gap in Vermont.

WHERE:  Vermont State House.

WHEN: Next Tuesday, April 12th - events taking place in the morning.  Upon opening of the day’s legislative session, projected to be 10:00 a.m., a joint resolution designating the day Equal Pay Day in Vermont will be read in the House, sponsored by Senator Bray, and Representatives Burke, Gonzalez and Morris, and observed by advocates for equal pay dressed in red, symbolizing women being “in the red” due to the gender wage gap.  At 11:00 a.m. Governor Peter Shumlin will sign an Equal Pay Day proclamation in his ceremonial office.  This event will include the presentation of a new report examining occupational segregation, the uneven distribution of labor across and within employment sectors by gender, its impact on women’s wages, and the link to Vermont’s economic vitality.  This new report, “Where Vermont Women Work…and Why It Matters” was developed by Change The Story VT, an initiative of three statewide organizations with longstanding focus on women’s economic well-being: the Vermont Commission on Women, the Vermont Women’s Fund and Vermont Works for Women.  

WHO:  Advocates for equal pay including members of the Vermont Federation of Business and Professional Women, the League of Women Voters of Vermont, and members of the Women’s Caucus of the legislature, will join Equal Pay Day speakers at the proclamation event, including Tiffany Bluemle of Change The Story VT, Cary Brown of the Vermont Commission on Women, Desiree Cerretani, a young mechanical engineer at UTC Aerospace Systems, and Meg Smith of the Vermont Women’s Fund.