Vermont Woman – The Business Peer Exchange Changes the Story

Vermont Woman – The Business Peer Exchange Changes the Story

by Susan Z. Ritz

“For almost three year, some of Vermont’s most progressive, socially responsible employers have been putting their heads together to root out gender bias and make our state of the best places for women (and men) to work. As members of Change the Story’s Business Peer Exchange, they gather monthly for workshops to learn how to recruit, fairly compensate, and retain a workforce that represents full gender equity, essential elements to attracting skilled employees in a tight labor market. With unemployment hovering around 2.8 percent, gender equity becomes not just a progressive ideal but a way to improve productivity and the bottom line.”

You’re Invited! CTS to Reveal New Report on October 19th: Women’s Business Ownership and the Vermont Economy

You’re Invited! CTS to Reveal New Report on October 19th: Women’s Business Ownership and the Vermont Economy

You’re Invited on October 19th!

What: An event and keynote address that tackles the question: what is the real story for Vermont women and business ownership?

Change The Story VT (CTS) will reveal findings from its third report on the status of women-owned businesses in Vermont. 

Policy makers, business association members, economic development professionals and interested members of the public are invited to attend this address by CTS Director Tiffany Bluemle, with Pat Heffernan and Laura Lind-Blum of Research Partners, and Vermont Commission on Women’s Cary Brown.

No RSVP is required for the report keynote.

Who: Change The Story VT and the Vermont Commission on Women

When: Wednesday, October 19, 2016 from 11:15am – 12:15pm (this is part of a larger event – the Women Business Owner Network Fall Conference) – There’s still time to register for the full conference.

Where: Vermont State House – House Chamber

Why: As women in the U.S. and in Vermont are starting businesses in increasing numbers, any analysis of women’s economic well-being must consider the status of self-employed entrepreneurs. The report focuses specifically on business ownership by women, its impact on women’s income, and its potential to bolster and invigorate Vermont’s economy.

A few findings from the report:

  • Thirty-two (32%) of Vermont businesses are women-owned and add billions of dollars and thousands of jobs to the state’s workforce and economy. In fact, between 2007-2012, women own 23,417 businesses in VT, employ 36,326 people, and generate annual revenues of $2.2 billion.
  • When comparing the average annual revenues of male and female-owned firms in Vermont, women make 19 cents on every dollar of revenue that VT male-owned businesses make.
  • Women are significantly underrepresented in 9 of the 10 highest grossing sectors. This limits financial opportunities for individual women and their potential contributions to the Vermont’s economy.

The full report will be released on October 19th. Be sure to join our mailing list to get your copy!

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[x_button shape=”square” size=”regular” float=”none” href=”” title=”The full report is now available.” target=”blank” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover”]The full report is now available.[/x_button]

Vermont Woman – Beth Sachs: A Passion for Social Justice and the Environment

Vermont Woman – Beth Sachs: A Passion for Social Justice and the Environment

by Cindy Humiston Weed

“Beth Sachs has dedicated her life to two important issues: social justice/women’s issues, and renewable energy/energy efficiency. And she’s been successful in both areas.

After spending 30 years with Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC), a company that she started with her husband, the late Blair Hamilton, Sachs (no relation to Debra Sachs), has spent the last 10 years on the board of directors for VT Works for Women (VWW), helping women and girls attain economic independence.”

“Sachs has jumped into action with another initiative: Change The Story, an independent partnership involving VWW, the Vermont Commission on Women, and the Vermont Women’s Fund, spearheaded by Bluemle. The program supports women’s economic status in Vermont by taking action to increase the number of young women in STEM-related or technical fields by collaborating with schools, by offering internships with successful female role models, and by hosting workshops. The program also hopes to educate all Vermonters by disseminating the hard data on wealth and poverty and the disparities between the sexes.”

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VPR | Vic Henningsen: Who Benefits?

VPR | Vic Henningsen: Who Benefits?

by Vic Henningsen, VPR Commentator

“At a time when we’re increasingly concerned with economic inequality, Vermonters might want to consider the difficulties faced by 51% of our state’s population – women and girls.

A recent report on Women, Work, and Wages in Vermont, issued by Burlington-based Change the Story, reveals that women of all ages constitute a larger percentage of Vermont’s low-wage workers than men, despite having achieved a higher level of education than their male counterparts. Median annual income for women working full-time is $37,000 – $7,000 less than that of men. That averages out to a wage gap of sixteen cents on every dollar.

That’s seven months rent for a single person, six months of childcare, or six months of grocery bills.

And the gap is across the board:  those in high-end jobs like corporate executives earn only two-thirds of what men do; female nurses and medical technicians earn 17% less than males, despite comprising over 80% of those so employed.

Vermont women are more likely to live in poverty than men. Of those working full-time, 43% don’t earn enough to cover basic living expenses. The poverty rate of families headed by single women is nine times that of married couples. And, in their senior years, Vermont women’s median annual income from Social Security is half that of men.

These facts should force us to look beyond the mere existence of economic inequality to understand just how much of it is gender-based. And we should consider how much of a burden this places on state subsidies and benefits funded by Vermont taxpayers, a burden likely to grow unless something changes.

We should demand that legislators and state officials pay attention to gender when considering legislation or framing and implementing policy. They could begin by asking one simple question:  Who benefits?

For example, economic development projects should provide opportunities for women as well as men and workforce development investment should be gender sensitive. In fact, all decisions about state policies and programs should be considered in the light of gender.

Happily, at a time when economic inequality is the focus of national attention, Vermonters can actually do something about it, right here at home.”

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April 12th is Equal Pay Day

April 12th is Equal Pay Day

What is Equal Pay Day?
Throughout the U.S., women’s organizations observe Equal Pay Day each April, symbolizing how far into the new year the average American woman would have to work to earn what the average American man did in the previous year, due to the gender wage gap. 
In Vermont, median annual income for women working FT year-round is $37,000.
That’s $7,000 less than the median annual salary earned by men. This translates to a 16% wage gap in Vermont.
On the morning of April 12th, the Vermont Commission on Women will joinBusiness and Professional Women, the League of Women Voters, members of the Women’s Caucus of the legislature, and other policy leaders at the Vermont State House for Equal Pay Day.
At 10:00 a.m. the Vermont House of Representatives will be called to order and soon after a resolution honoring Equal Pay Day will be read.  At 11:00 a.m. the Governor will sign an Equal Pay Day proclamation in his ceremonial office. 
All are welcome to join us!  
Get the latest stats and information about Vermont’s wage gap: read our latest report: 2016 Status Report: Women Work and Wages in VT.

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Join us for the VT Women’s Fund Annual Fundraiser on May 3!

Join us for the VT Women’s Fund Annual Fundraiser on May 3!

Join Us for the Vermont Women’s Fund Annual Benefit Celebration

Featuring guest speaker Jodi Kantor, award-winning journalist of The New York Times

Plus Vermont Public Radio’s Jane Lindholm and Change the Story leader Tiffany Bluemle

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

5:30-7:30 p.m.

The Davis Center at the University of Vermont, Burlington
Directions & Parking Information

Tickets $50

All proceeds from the event go to support the work of the Vermont Women’s Fund

Reception at 5:30 includes hors d’oeuvres and cash bar

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