Let’s Change The Story Together
It’s not rocket science. Vermont’s economic future hinges upon nurturing every drop of homegrown talent to its highest potential. It’s what enables businesses to grow, workers to pay their bills, and the state to invest in the priorities that make our state special.
We don’t often discuss gender in conversations about economic growth, but we should. Because women in Vermont are an underdeveloped resource – and a disproportionate share of those living in poverty.
Consider the following:
43% of Vermont women working full-time do not make enough to pay basic living expenses.
Half of all working women are clustered in fields that pay median wages of less than $35,000 – as compared to just 13% of men.
Nearly 60% of high-wage, high-demand entry-level occupations are those in which women are just a small fraction of workers.
A woman in Vermont receives $10,000 in annual social security benefits – half of what a man receives.
Developing women’s economic potential is sound economic policy
Change The Story VT (CTS) is a multi-year initiative to align philanthropy, policy, and programs to fast-track women’s economic progress in Vermont. Spearheaded by three statewide organizations – The Vermont Women’s Fund, the Vermont Commission on Women, and Vermont Works for Women – it is focused on engaging key partners whose reach and influence can leverage systemic change.
Change The Story has released three data briefs outlining the state of working women in Vermont:
- Women, Work and Wages in Vermont
- Where Vermont Women Work... and Why It Matters
- Women's Business Ownership and the Vermont Economy
The Change The Story initiative was informed by research - and by engaging lots of young women and girls in conversations!
In 2013, Vermont Works for Women traveled the state interviewing hundreds of young women, ages 15-25, from 28 communities, Brattleboro to St. Johnsbury. We inquired about the challenges of school, work and becoming adults; and they offered us consistent feedback no matter their socio-economic status:
- ...they are ill-equipped to manage work and money (they want to become more financially literate)
- ...allies and supportive networks are in short supply (peer aggression is undercutting confidence and personal progress)
- ...they have limited exposure to work and career options (they know about a small slice of future career paths traditionally held by women)