Research demonstrates that employers have a significant stake in actively promoting equity and diversity by boosting an organization’s bottom line, contributing to better decision-making, and opening the door to a broader talent pool.
The Business Peer Exchange (BPE) is a year-long skill building program that engages Vermont businesses and their leaders in shifting workplace culture towards gender equity and inclusivity.
Our goal: to create equitable workplaces in Vermont.
Our strategy: to create, coach, and support a cohort of “gender equity ambassadors” in diverse workplaces across Vermont.
Download the BPE 2019-2020 Overview Sheet.
The first BPE began in Chittenden County, VT in Fall 2016 and is currently engaging its year 3 cohort.
From the start, we’ve understood the critical role that employers can play in moving the needle for women: by recruiting and hiring them; by promoting them; by paying them equitably; by consistently considering whether organizational practices, policies, and the culture support the needs of diverse workers.
Meeting monthly for a year, representatives from 15-20 organizations come together to discuss ways in which gender plays out at their worksites, explore best practices in cultivating and supporting equity, and develop immediate and long-term strategies to advance their own equity goals.
Want to bring BPE to your area?
Change The Story is interested in identifying and supporting organizations around Vermont to start up their own cohorts.
Contact Jessica Nordhaus at email@example.com.
“Questions of how does bias, perspective and privilege all influence gender equity at our beautiful business are tough conversations to start and not shy away from, but after Friday’s workshop we feel more ready!”
As a result, BPE members have:
• added gender diversity to corporate strategic planning goals
• increased awareness of gender throughout their companies (a sign of progress: a male production manager asking specifically for female applicants to be recommended)
• taken more time to speak to women in leadership about their experiences
• seen an increase in diversity of applicants due to new recruitment practices
• provided ‘unconscious bias’ training for all staff and ‘bias in interviewing’ training for HR staff
• hosted conversations during work hours using CTS Let’s Talk Gender Cards