Business Peer Exchange

What are we doing (or not doing) to support women’s advancement in our workplaces?

The Business Peer Exchange (BPE) is a group of dedicated businesses in Vermont working together to ensure women thrive in their workplaces.

The BPE started in Chittenden County in Fall 2016 and is currently engaging its year 3 cohort. 

We are actively recruiting a brand new Central VT cohort scheduled to begin in Fall 2018.
If you’re interested, contact Alex MacLean at alex@leoninepublicaffairs.com and Liz Sortino at liz.sortino@gmail.com.
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 jnordhaus@changethestoryvt.org. 

About Business Peer Exchange:

The BPE is for professionals who want to learn more about gender equity, understand how their organization can benefit from a diverse talent pool, and exchange ideas with peers.

As a result, our BPE members have:

• added 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

“Participation has helped me do things differently with my team and have new conversations inside my company.”

What’s the commitment?
  • be willing to share your experience, knowledge and any tools you’ve used in your company in recruiting, training, and advancing women in your workplace
  • be open to experimenting with new practices and share your experiences with us
  • be an ambassador for gender equality
What do we talk about?

Topics have included:

  • Senior leadership – the how and why: CEOs making gender equity a top priority
  • Making the gender equity conversation accessible to men
  • Building your affirmative recruitment strategy
  • Gendered language and job descriptions
  • Designing your gender equality plan
  • Gender wage gap and compensation
  • The role of unconcious bias within your organization
  • Retention and promotion – recognizing and keeping talent
  • Connecting with women at all stages of their careers – internships and returnships
What’s included in participation?

Business Peer Exchange commitment and benefits:

  • Monthly 2-hour cohort meetings—for you and a colleague or two;
  • 2 larger networking events for you, your Senior Leadership team and colleagues;
  • 90 minutes of on-site consulting (tailored to meet your organization’s needs) – offered in Chittenden County only

Download the BPE Description PDF

About Chittenden County BPE:

This year we have the following organization’s participating:

  • Vermont Energy Investment Corp.
  • Logic Supply
  • SunCommon
  • City of Burlington
  • PC Construction
  • Tetra Tech
  • Dealer.com
  • Seventh Generation
  • Rhino Foods
  • Permanent Fund for VT’s Children
  • Primmer Piper Eggleston & Cramer, PC
  • Vermont Gas Systems
  • Vermont National Guard
  • Champlain College
  • Paul Frank + Collins
  • Burlington Electric Dept.
Have you ever taken any of Harvard’s Implicit Bias tests? We recommend Gender-Career, Gender-Leadership, and Gender-Science. [Take them here!]
Interested in learning more? Contact us!

Jessica Nordhaus at jnordhaus@changethestoryvt.org 

Lindsey Lathrop-Ryan at llathrop@changethestoryvt.org

Business Participants in Chittenden County Cohort (Current and Past)