Conversation Cards

“Everything’s a story – You are a story – I am a story.” Frances Hodgson Burnett
At Change The Story, we believe that what lies beneath the troubling statistics about the economic status of women in Vermont are stories that we have been told and tell about ourselves, stories that we believe and stories we act on.

The first step in changing that story is having a conversation.

You can now use a set of Change The Story Conversation Cards to help have a conversation.

The Conversation Cards include:

  • Host Instructions

  • DID YOU KNOW? Cards – 19 cards  chock full of data from CTS reports

  • LET’S TALK! Cards – 16 cards with questions to get your conversation started.

  • DEFINITIONS and INFO Cards – To use before and after conversations. (Specifically: Gender Norms, Gender Binary, and Implicit Bias)

Rhino Foods ran conversations with the CTS Conversation Cards and is considering setting them up as a recurring practice. Leadership has also developed a document of Ready Responses to charged statements in the workplace, and brought Vermont Works for Women in to run focus groups with female employees to better understand how women are receiving and contributing to workplace culture. Of the Conversation Cards activity:

“This went really well at Rhino. We had 8 people participate and it was nice to have a focused discussion on gender but also have it wander and follow what people wanted to explore and share.It felt like a safe way to engage in a conversation about gender that we don’t have enough of. I’ve already had someone suggest that we host these on a recurring basis and let people come in and out of the conversation over lunch time–so lots more to explore in how to use these as an engagement tool!”

– Rhino Foods Employee, 2/14/18

How to Have a Conversation:
  • Invite a group to have a conversation using this card deck. You could include friends, co-workers, family members or anyone!

  • Aim for fewer than 10 people. If you are hosting a crowd, consider breaking into small groups for discussion.

  • Think about people with multiple perspectives. Consider inviting both women and men.

  • Snacks and drinks help get the conversation going.

  • The rest of the instructions can be found in the Conversation Cards box!

Feedback, Please!

We want to hear your thoughts on how we can improve our conversation cards. We also want advice we can pass on to hosts to make future conversations more powerful. Please tell us what you think:

1. Take a quick online survey before you leave the conversation (Got your phone?) Go to changethestoryvt.org/survey.

2. Don’t see a question on the survey that fits your input? Curious about our initiative? Need resources? Tell us how it went, give us feedback, ask us questions at info@changethestoryvt.org.

About the Cards:

These materials are adapted from the Gender By Us™ toolkit created and produced by The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio and used by permission. We thank our colleagues in Ohio for their excellent work and for helping us start conversations in Vermont.

Data on these cards are drawn from CTS’ four status reports on women (2016-17) and, unless indicated, reflect information specific to Vermont. They are drawn from U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey data or were compiled by CTS staff.

Want your own deck of cards? Let us know by filling out this form.