Career Exploration and Gender Equity Services for Tech Centers and Schools
Vermont Works for Women contracts with career and technical centers and schools to provide programs and services focused on career exploration and gender equity to students and staff.
- Career Exploration events
- Student professional development workshops
- Speaker series
- Career Exploration summer camp and afterschool programs
- Gender Equity workshops for staff and/or students
Services support the increased enrollment and success of students pursuing non-traditional programs and are aligned with Perkins V law.
In our experience, schools and communities realize the most benefit from gender equity services when there are multiple opportunities for engagement and learning. For instance, pairing a career exploration day with an afterschool program can deepen prospective students’ comfort and interest in tech center enrollment. Similarly, learning opportunities for current tech students, combined with professional development trainings at the staff-level, creates a sustained, school-wide culture of diversity and inclusion. This layered approach ensures all students are empowered to pursue their educational and career fields of interest.
Please contact us for information on fees for services and our availability. Services can be combined and tailored to the needs of a particular school or program.
Career Exploration Programs
Career Challenge Day
Career Challenge Day (CCD) is a unique opportunity for career and technical centers to host female and gender non-conforming students from sending middle and high schools for a day of orientation, exploration, and empowerment. Students meet teachers, learn about program offerings, and try hands-on activities in nontraditional fields. Opening and closing activities led by VWW staff set the stage for students to step out of their comfort zones and try new things in a judgement free, fun-filled day.
Youth@Work: Professional Development Workshop Series
A monthly series of workshops for high school girls and gender nonconforming youth enrolled in any tech center program. Workshops focus on strengths assessment, personal finance, resume writing, interviewing and more. Students discuss short and long-term goals, practice using different leadership and interpersonal skills, and learn from professional role models who are working in fields where women are underrepresented. Students participate for the full school year. Cohorts can include students from different programs, as well as neighboring tech centers.
Tech@Work Speaker Series
Tech@Work is a monthly speaker series during the school year that introduces high school students to gender diverse professionals working in a variety of career fields. Presenters speak about their career path, challenges they experience in their work, and what they love about their job, leaving time for students to ask questions. Tech@Work is designed to give students real-life role models who are breaking down gender stereotypes in nontraditional fields.
Tech@Work is currently offered at Burlington Technical Center and Randolph Technical Career Center.
Rosie’s Girls® After School & Summer Programs
Rosie’s Girls® participants develop grit, build positive connections with peers and adults, and expand their possibilities for the future through the exploration of STEM, carpentry, solar energy/electricity, and welding. Rosie’s Girls offers a unique combination of technical tools and social and emotional activities, or “Power Skills,” that address common societal norms and pressures that middle school girls and gender non-conforming youth often face. The program creates a safe, supportive, environment that encourages students to get their hands dirty and take positive risks. In response to COVID-19, projects and tools are self-contained to individual kits for students to complete together, in person or virtually.
Both Rosie’s Girls Afterschool and Camp give career and technical centers ongoing opportunities to welcome and build relationships with prospective female and gender non-conforming students. VWW provides materials and support for schools to host and run Rosie’s Girls®.
Gender Equity Workshops
Let’s Talk Gender
Gender norms and expectations affect us from the time we are born. They influence how we perceive ourselves and others, as well as the life and career choices we make. This workshop brings awareness to the gender norms we face in our society, and serves as an introduction to gender identities outside of the binary. Participants learn basic definitions and language around gender identity, and gain knowledge and understanding of how gender impacts young people and their career education, exploration, and decisions. This 90-minute training can be tailored to a student audience.
Busting Gender Bias – Creating Safe & Inclusive Spaces for All Genders
Participants learn strategies for creating safe, inclusive learning environments for all gender identities. VWW shares the tools in our “toolbox,” such as how to create affinity spaces, using inclusive language, common micro messages, incorporation of “power skills,” and more. Participants work together with their colleagues to decide which strategies to include in their own “toolboxes,” and what next steps they will take to create inclusive spaces. This 90-minute training can be tailored to a student audience.
Let’s Talk Harassment
As we support young people with their educational journey and career path choices, it is important to educate and prepare them for the real world. Students are spending more time at work-based learning sites in the community as part of their learning experiences. We review common language and definitions around sexual harassment, and discuss how it impacts people in the workplace, as well as how to use ready responses and other strategies to prevent and interrupt sexual harassment. This 90-minute training is for educators and work-based learning coordinators, and can be tailored to a student audience.
Tech Center Gender Equity Surveys & Focus Groups
VWW has developed a survey for students to help tech centers improve gender equity efforts and ensure all students feel welcome and supported in the tech center and in their chosen program, regardless of their gender identity. The survey is sent via an electronic link, takes around 5-10 minutes to complete, is completely confidential, and students of all gender identities may complete it. It asks students about experiences with gender-based bullying, diverse role models, and ways they feel supported at their tech center. VWW provides full survey results and data to the tech center. The survey can be paired with a confidential, facilitated focus group with female and gender nonconforming students as follow up, and to address the nuances of this topic, and the subjective nature of student experiences.
Director of Programs and Gender Equity Services
Phone: 802.655.8900 x 104