Using Our Voice
We are working to create an equitable Vermont where people of all identities and backgrounds have equal access to opportunities and to thrive economically - where they make confident, deliberate choices about life and work that reflect an expansive grasp of what’s possible.
In 2021, VWW is calling for change in the systems and structures surrounding women's employment; career pathways for youth; child care; and community re-entry services for women involved in the criminal justice system. Click here for the 2021 Priorities Overview pdf.
Workplace flexibility is a simple, low-cost strategy to recruit and retain women in the workplace, and close th eleadership gap among men and women. It allows employees to achieve a better work/life balance and manage unforeseen scheduling conflicts, such as a child care emergency, and benefits the employer by increasing employee productivity, engagement, and retention. Women are leaving the workforce at 4x the rate of men during the COVID-19 pandemic, largely due to the conflicting demands of child care, remote schooling and work. Stepping away from work, even temporarily, can negatively impact women's economic independence. Click here for the full report.
- VWW calls on Vermont employers increase flexibility in their workplaces to better support working families, and recruit and retain female employees.
Female, gender non-conforming, and BIPOC youth occupy a small portion of students enrolled in non-traditional programs at Vermont career and technical education (CTE) centers. According to Change The Story's 2019 report: Women, Work and Wages in Vermont, the number of VT female students completing non-traditional programs has remained between 5 - 14 percent since 2009, except for law enforcement programs. Click here for the full report.
- Vermont must strengthen pathways to careers in STEM and trade industries for girls, gender non-conforming, and BIPOC youth. Gender and racially equitable recruitment, programming and career guidance in schools and CTE centers can reduce occupational segregation and grow VT’s workforce in these high-demand fields.
With women providing the majority of unpaid and paid caregiving, a lack of employment supports for working families - namely paid family leave and an affordable, accessible child care system - disproportionately impacts women’s economic independence. Women should not have to choose between caring for their families and keeping their jobs. Click here for the full report.
- VWW calls on the State to pass universal paid family and medical leave, as laid out by the Vermont Family and Medical Leave Insurance Coalition (VT FaMLI).
- VWW supports the creation of a child care system that is accessible, affordable, high-quality and accountable, as laid out in Let’s Grow Kids’ policy agenda.
Justice-involved women, due to their gender and other intersecting factors, face tremendous barriers to economic independence after being released from Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility (CRCF). Click here for the full report.
- State-funded gender, race and trauma-responsive re-entry services and supports for women leaving incarceration are essential to their successful reintegration into the community.
- Vermont must increase the availability of transitional housing, with wraparound supports, for women.
- VWW calls on the Vermont Department of Corrections (DOC) to proactively provide stateissued IDs to women pre-release, thereby eliminating one of the major barriers for women seeking employment.
Alison LamagnaDirector of Programs and Gender Equity
Please contact VWW for testimony, participant stories, or shared expertise in any related matters.
Vermont Works for Women recognizes that, in addition to gender, many factors shape the lived experiences of individuals in Vermont, including, but not limited to, race, religion, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, national origin, ethnicity, ability, age, and socioeconomic status. These factors intersect and overlap to create unique personal identities, some of which can greatly amplify the barriers and challenges that women face.
Vermont Works for Women is committed to supporting policies that both include the voices and address the diverse needs of Vermont women, particularly those from marginalized communities.
Employment and Career Pathways
- Forbes: Flexible Working: The Way of the Future by Joy Burnford, citing research conducted by Capability Jane.
- Bain & Company: The Power of Flexibility: A Key Enabler to Boost Gender Parity and Employee Engagement by Melanie Sanders, Jennifer Zeng, Meredith Hellicar and Kathryn Fagg
- McKinsey & Company: Why Diversity Matters by Vivian Hunt, Dennis Layton, and Sara Prince
- Change The Story's 2019 Status Report: Women, Work, and Wages in Vermont
- Center for American Progress: Advancing Racial Equity in Career and Technical Education Enrollment by Ryan Smith
- The J. Warren and Lois McClure Foundation: Vermont's High-Pay, High-Demand Jobs 2021-2022 Edition
- Vermont Family and Medical Leave Insurance Coalition
- Change The Story’s 2019 Status Report: Women, Work, and Wages in Vermont
- The New York Times: Why Did Hundreds of Thousands of Women Drop Out of the Work Force? By Alisha Haridasani Gupta
- Let’s Grow Kids: Policy Agenda
- Let’s Grow Kids: Why Child Care
- Center for American Progress: Saving Child Care Means Preserving Jobs and Supporting Working Families and Small Businesses by Rasheed Malik
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: May 2018 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Vermont
- The 19th: About 700,000 parents with young kids left the workforce in 2020. For many, loss of child care was to blame. By Chabeli Carrazana
- ACLU Vermont: Blueprint for Smart Justice
- Urban Institute: Health and Prisoner Reentry: How Physical, Mental, and Substance Abuse Conditions Shape the Process of Reintegration by Kamala Mallik-Kane, Christy Visher
- The National Institute of Justice Journal: Improving Access to Services for Female Offenders Returning to the Community by Marie Garcia with Nancy Ritter
- Prison Policy Initiative: The Gender Divide: Tracking Women’s State Prison Growth by Wendy Sawyer
- Downs Rachlin Martin, PLLC: Report of Investigation Concerning Sexual Misconduct At the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility
- Vermont Department of Corrections: Gender Report 10/31/2020
- The Council of State Governments: Vermont Justice Reinvestment II January 2020