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Education, State Initiatives, Vermont, Wage Gap, Work

Middlebury College Perpetuates Vermont’s Gender-based Labor Divide

By and  | May 11, 2016

“Vermont’s reputation for progressive and liberal politics may be undeserved, at least when it comes to labor-gender equality.

A recent report by “Change the Story,” a statewide initiative devoted to female economic empowerment, revealed that little has changed in Vermont for women workers since the passage of Title IX in 1972. Occupational segregation, or the uneven gender distribution across and within labor sectors, stubbornly persists.

“Women are clustered in the same occupations today as they were back in 1970,” Cary Brown, Executive Director of the Vermont Commission on Women informed VTDigger.  “We still have ideas about what are appropriate jobs for women and what are appropriate jobs for men.”

These ‘female professions’ include office administration, food-service, teaching and nursing, according to the “Change the Story” report. Typical “male professions” include computers and math, engineering and law enforcement. 

The College is no exception. As the largest employer in Addsion County, the College employs over 1,500 Vermonters in faculty and staff positions. The report illuminates the occupational segregation present among these employees and possible gender biases in hiring decisions.

The most recent report on the status of women faculty and staff dates back to 2008. It states that the “College on the Hill” perpetuates occupational segregation, corroborating findings from the 2016 “Change the Story” report.” 

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