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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Diverse Teams Feel Less Comfortable — and That’s Why They Perform Better

Diverse Teams Feel Less Comfortable — and That’s Why They Perform Better

Source: Harvard Business Review

Authors: David RockHeidi Grant HalvorsonJacqui Grey


“In numerous studies, diversity — both inherent (e.g., race, gender) and acquired (experience, cultural background) — is associated with business success. For example, a 2009 analysis of 506 companies found that firms with more racial or gender diversity had more sales revenue, more customers, and greater profits. A 2016 analysis of more than 20,000 firms in 91 countries found that companies with more female executives were more profitable. In a2011 study management teams exhibiting a wider range of educational and work backgrounds produced more-innovative products. These are mere correlations, but laboratory experiments have also shown the direct effect of diversity on team performance. In a 2006 study of mock juries, for example, when black people were added to the jury, white jurors processed the case facts more carefully and deliberated more effectively.

Under increasing scrutiny, and mindful of the benefits of diversity on the bottom line, many companies are trying to recruit and retain a more diverse workforce. Success has so far been marginal. With so much at stake, why aren’t these companies making more headway? One reason could be that, despite the evidence about their results, homogenous teams just feel more effective. In addition, people believe that diverse teams breed greater conflict than they actually do. Bringing these biases to light may enable ways to combat them.”

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The Hidden Cost of a Failing Child Care System

The Hidden Cost of a Failing Child Care System


The annual cost of a child care center for a typical American family with an infant and a four-year-old is nearly $18,000. As a result, many parents face the untenable choice between spending an average of nearly 30 percent of their paycheck on child care or leaving the workforce altogether.


A recent poll found that three-quarters of mothers and half of fathers have either left the workforce or switched to a less demanding job in order to care for their children.

When parents leave the workforce, THEY LOSE MUCH MORE THAN JUST THEIR ANNUAL SALARY; the cost of this decision follows them for life. After taking into account the potential wage growth and lost retirement savings over time, a parent who leaves the workforce loses up to four times their annual salary per year.

The nation needs a major national solution to put child care within reach for working families. To learn more about how you can get involved in the fight to make child care affordable for working families go

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Why Women Are No Longer Catching Up To Men On Pay

Why Women Are No Longer Catching Up To Men On Pay

“If you were an American man working full-time in 1984, you earned, on average, a bit more than $22 an hour (adjusted for inflation to 2014 dollars). If you were particularly ambitious, or particularly in need of cash, you could make more money by working more hours, but on a per-hour basis, you’d still be making about the same — a bit more than $22 per hour.

Fast-forward to 2015, though, and the picture looks a lot different. The average man working a typical full-time job, 35 to 49 hours a week, now earns about $26 an hour. But the man working 50 hours a week or more now earns close to $33 an hour.1 Hourly pay has risen more than twice as fast over the past three decades for men working long hours, as employers increasingly reward employees willing to work extra hours with raises or promotions. (The pattern crosses educational and industry lines, and holds when excluding overtime pay.)

Notice that I said “men.” Men make up a bit more than half the full-time workforce, but they account for more than 70 percent of those working 50 hours a week or more. So as wage gains have gone disproportionately to people working long hours, they have also gone disproportionately to men, widening the earnings divide between men and women overall.”

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Economic Policy Institute: “Women’s work” and the gender pay gap

Economic Policy Institute: “Women’s work” and the gender pay gap

Source: Economic Policy Institute
How discrimination, societal norms, and other forces affect women’s occupational choices—and their pay


What this report finds: Women are paid 79 cents for every dollar paid to men—despite the fact that over the last several decades millions more women have joined the workforce and made huge gains in their educational attainment. Too often it is assumed that this pay gap is not evidence of discrimination, but is instead a statistical artifact of failing to adjust for factors that could drive earnings differences between men and women. However, these factors—particularly occupational differences between women and men—are themselves often affected by gender bias. For example, by the time a woman earns her first dollar, her occupational choice is the culmination of years of education, guidance by mentors, expectations set by those who raised her, hiring practices of firms, and widespread norms and expectations about work–family balance held by employers, co-workers, and society. In other words, even though women disproportionately enter lower-paid, female-dominated occupations, this decision is shaped by discrimination, societal norms, and other forces beyond women’s control.

Why it matters, and how to fix it: The gender wage gap is real—and hurts women across the board by suppressing their earnings and making it harder to balance work and family. Serious attempts to understand the gender wage gap should not include shifting the blame to women for not earning more. Rather, these attempts should examine where our economy provides unequal opportunities for women at every point of their education, training, and career choices.

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HBR: Designing a Bias-Free Organization

HBR: Designing a Bias-Free Organization

Source: Harvard Business Review: July/August 2016

“Iris Bohnet thinks firms are wasting their money on diversity training. The problem is, most programs just don’t work. Rather than run more workshops or try to eradicate the biases that cause discrimination, she says, companies need to redesign their processes to prevent biased choices in the first place.

Bohnet directs the Women and Public Policy Program at the Harvard Kennedy School and cochairs its Behavioral Insights Group. Her new book, What Works,describes how simple changes—from eliminating the practice of sharing self-evaluations to rewarding office volunteerism—can reduce the biased behaviors that undermine organizational performance. In this edited interview with HBR senior editor Gardiner Morse, Bohnet describes how behavioral design can neutralize our biases and unleash untapped talent.”

Selected quotes:
“It’s very hard to eliminate our bias, but we can design organizations to make it easier for our biased minds to get things right.”
“Until we see more male kindergarten teachers or female engineers, we need behavioral designs to make it easier for our biased minds to get things right and break the link between our gut reactions and our actions.”
“So if managers see inflated ratings on a self-evaluation, they tend to unconsciously adjust their appraisal up a bit. Likewise, poorer self-appraisals, even if they’re inaccurate, skew managers’ ratings downward. This is a real problem, because there are clear gender (and also cross-cultural) differences in self-confidence.”
“Enlisting men is partly about helping them to see the benefits of equality. Fathers of daughters are some of the strongest proponents of gender equality, for obvious reasons, so they can be particularly powerful voices when it comes to bringing other men along. Research on male CEOs, politicians, and judges show that fathers of daughters care more about gender equality than men without children or with only sons.”

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