Speaking of Gender Equity is our podcast series about gender, equity, and state policy.
(Un)Equal Pay Day Episodes
For decades, VCW has joined organizations nationwide in drawing attention to Equal Pay Day each year. Equal Pay Day symbolizes how far into the year women must work to catch up to what the average white non-Hispanic man earned in the previous year in the U.S. The Commission launched (Un)Equal Pay Day video podcast episodes in 2021 with the goal of raising 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 this project is to listen to women about their experiences with pay inequity, how it impacts them, and what they think could help. Our guests were Vermonters with professional and lived experience and the conversations were hosted by VCW Commissioners and introduced by VCW Executive Director Cary Brown. (Un)Equal Pay Day podcasts are available on VCW’s channels on YouTube, Spotify, Google Podcast, or Apple Podcast.
March 2021 | Episode 1: (Un)Equal Pay Day for Asian American and Pacific Islander Women
The first episode launched on March 9th, Equal Pay Day for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women. Our guests included Director of the Vermont Human Rights Commission Bor Yang and Senator Kesha Ram. The conversation is introduced by the VCW Executive Director Cary Brown and moderated by VCW Chair Lisa Senecal. Based on median earnings for full-time, year-round workers in 2020, 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 of 2021, 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).
March 2021 | Episode 2: (Un)Equal Pay Day for Women
VCW presented the second in a series of (Un)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 due to the wage gap. Based on median earnings for full-time, year-round workers in 2020, women are paid 82 cents for every dollar paid to men. Podcast guests include educator Lara Scott, 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 Executive Director Cary Brown and moderated by VCW Commissioner Kellie Campbell, at that time the Chief Technology Officer at Vermont Tech and Chair of VCW’s Education and Human Development committee (she is now co-chair of VCW). 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 unexpected gifts of COVID-19 era 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.
November 2021 | Episode 3: (Un)Equal Pay Day for our LGBTQ+ Community
HB Lozito, the Executive Director of Out in the Open, and Representative Taylor Small, the Pride Center of Vermont’s Director of Health and Wellness speak with VCW Commissioner Sarah Mell in this episode exploring equity and the economic impacts of COVID-19 for our LGBTQ + community. It also considers additional impacts to those community members living with disabilities and BIPOC members. The conversation touched on rising costs, lack of internet access, and lack of transportation. Solutions explored included wage transparency, and also workplaces that support self-care practices, and both uplift and value their employees, in turn cultivating an environment of connection and trust.
November 2021 | Episode 4: (Un)Equal Pay Day for Women Living with Disabilities
Sarah Launderville, Executive Director of the Vermont Center for Independent Living, moderates this dialogue with guests Deborah Lisi-Baker, Winnie Looby, Cara Sachs, and Laura Siegel. Introduced by VCW’s Executive Director Cary Brown, this episode explores equity and employment through the lens of women with disabilities. In addition to sharing personal experiences, each guest is engaged professionally in disability rights and brings that expertise to this discussion. Deborah Lisi-Baker was in leadership positions at UVM’s Center for Disability and Community Inclusion and as Executive Director for the Vermont Center for Independent Living. Winnie Looby, Ph.D. is a UVM faculty member at the Center on Disability and Community Inclusion in the College of Education and Social Services. Cara Sachs is a Vermont Center for Independent Living Americans with Disabilities Act Advocate and a personal life coach. Laura Siegel is the Vermont State Director of Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Deafblind Services.
December 2021 | Episode 5: (Un)Equal Pay Day for Latinas
This conversation features Marita Canedo, the Milk with Dignity Program Coordinator at Migrant Justice; Amanda Garces, the Director of Policy, Education and Outreach at Vermont Human Rights Commission; and Drea Tremols, business owner of Soul Vibration Massage Therapy. The guests contribute not only personal experience and reflection to this discussion but perspective from their work in justice, healing, and equity. The conversation is introduced by VCW Executive Director Cary Brown and moderated by VCW Co-chair Lisa Senecal. Based on 2020 median earnings for full-time, year-round workers, Latina women are paid 57 cents for every dollar paid to white non-Hispanic men. Latina Equal Pay Day fell on October 21st in 2021, a symbolic day illustrating the point into the current year, an extra 10 months, to which Latina women must work to earn as much money as white non-Hispanic men made in the year before, due to the gender wage gap. While they are the group with the largest wage gap, they are far from monolithic: they are from a myriad of cultures and identities and can be of any race.