Questions to Ask

“Questions challenge authority and disrupt established structures, processes, and systems, forcing people to have to at least think about doing something differently.”WARREN BERGER, A MORE BEAUTIFUL QUESTION: THE POWER OF INQUIRY TO SPARK BREAKTHROUGH IDEAS
It’s good to ask questions and they will come up as you begin to look at your work and interactions through a gender lens.
To get you started, we’ve compiled some questions for you.

EMPLOYERS:

How diverse is the pool of those who apply for our jobs?

How deliberate are our efforts to attract a diverse workforce?

Who do we retain? Who do we lose? Do we know why individuals leave?

How diverse are candidates who appear on short lists for internal promotion?

Are we providing enough opportunities for young people in our community to learn about our careers?

Do our hours and policies make it possible for parents to work and stay here?

EDUCATORS:

Do our programs in science, math, trades, engineering, computer networking and science attract women?

Do our recruitment strategies specifically target women?

Do young women complete nontraditional high school programs?

Do our classrooms and schools offer supportive environments for all students?

POLICYMAKERS:

What is the gender ratio of skills training programs funded by state and federal dollars?

Are we prioritizing and targeting training investments in fields where men or women constitute a significant minority of workers?

Will our investments meet future Vermont labor demands in terms of recruiting and training both men and women?

How do we know that student Personalized Learning Plans (as required by Act 77) are informed by broad exposure to a range of careers, career paths, and pay scales?

Are there built-in disincentives to student enrollment in technical high schools? If so, what can we do to eliminate them?

What are the long-term implications of continuing to pay low wages to so many Vermont workers, particularly those in female-dominated fields?

PARENTS & MENTORS:

Are we making a deliberate effort to expose children to a full range of careers, career paths, and salaries?

Are we introducing children to the opportunities provided by regional technical centers?

Do young people know enough about what they’ll need to earn to support themselves and their children, if they choose to have them?

Are we deliberately introducing young people to adults who can serve as mentors and allies?