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:
Vermont women who work full-time, year-round earn just 84¢ for every dollar earned by Vermont men.
39% of women who work full-time earn less than $35,000 (the amount an individual must earn to meet basic needs, as defined by the VT Joint Fiscal Office).
Nearly 50% of the occupations in which women's median annual salaries top $35,000 are those in which women are a tiny fraction of the workfoce.
Vermont is the only state that has never sent a woman to Congress.
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 five data briefs outlining the state of working women in Vermont:
- Women, Work and Wages in Vermont (2016)
- Where Vermont Women Work... and Why It Matters
- Women's Business Ownership and the Vermont Economy
- Vermont Women and Leadership
- Women, Work, and Wages in Vermont (2019)
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)