VCW Newsletter, April 6th

April 12th is Equal Pay Day! 

Throughout the U.S., women’s organizations observe Equal Pay Day each April, symbolizing how far into the new year the average American woman would have to work to earn what the average American man did in the previous year, due to the gender wage gap.   In Vermont, median annual income for women working FT year-round is $37,000.  That’s $7,000 less than the median annual salary earned by men. This translates to a 16% wage gap in Vermont.  On the morning of April 12th, the Vermont Commission on Women will join Business and Professional Women, the League of Women Voters, members of the Women’s Caucus of the legislature, and other policy leaders at the Vermont State House for Equal Pay Day. At 10:00 a.m. the Vermont House of Representatives will be called to order and soon after a resolution honoring Equal Pay Day will be read.  At 11:00 a.m. the Governor will sign an Equal Pay Day proclamation in his ceremonial office. 

Please watch and share VCW Commissioner Colin Ryan’s video inviting men to the Vermont Women’s Fund Annual Benefit Celebration on May 3rd in Burlington, and the 20th Annual Women’s Economic Opportunity Conference (WEOC) on June 4th at VTC in Randolph!

NEW Equal Pay Compact Strategies

Last Equal Pay Day VCW in partnership with the Governor’s office launched the Vermont Equal Pay Compact. The Compact is a voluntary on-line pledge that allows Vermont employers to indicate commitment to closing the wage gap. The goal of the Compact is to help make Vermont one of the best states for working women by closing the gap, removing barriers to women’s advancement, and improving economic security for women and their families.  We’ve just updated our great list of Strategies –  a wide variety of suggestions businesses can use to address different aspects of this issue – read it here! Check out the long list of employers who have signed the on and find out more here.

Five members of the U.S. women’s national soccer team — including stars Hope Solo, Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan — have filed a wage-discrimination action against the U.S. Soccer Federation with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The filing, citing figures from the USSF’s 2015 financial report, says that despite the women’s team generating nearly $20 million more revenue last year than the U.S. men’s team, the women are paid about a quarter of what the men earn.

A new IWPR fact sheet finds that progress on narrowing the weekly wage gap in the United States has not only stalled, but reversed. The ratio of women’s to men’s median weekly full-time earnings declined from 82.5 percent in 2014 to 81.1 percent in 2015, increasing the gender gap to 18.9 percent from 17.5 percent last year. 

IWPR launched, an interactive, searchable database of middle-skills jobs, allowing users to identify pathways for women workers to access better jobs. Half of the gender wage gap is due to women working in different occupations and sectors than men. Improving women’s access to good middle-skill jobs can help close the wage gap and improve women’s economic security. IWPR’s Pathways to Equity Initiative, launched today with a new report and website, explores job changes that can improve women’s economic standing and meet employers’ demands for skilled workers. Many women work in jobs that already have a similar skill profile to better-paying, male-dominated jobs. If 10 percent of women workers entered similar but higher-paying male-dominated jobs, the median earnings for these women would increase by over 50 percent, and for all women workers by 5 percent.

Read Women’s Enews article: 5 Reasons for Women to Get Savvy about U.S. Budget Dealings.

COTS broke ground on the redevelopment of their 95 North Avenue building. The project will rebuild their Daystation, host upgraded program space, and will have 14 new affordable, service-enriched apartments.  Learn more about the redevelopment program here.

New York Governor signed Paid Family Leave program into law. It is the fourth state to pass a paid family leave program, and it offers the strongest benefits in the nation.  Once the law is in full effect, it will offer 12 weeks of leave per year at 67% of the worker’s average weekly wages, up to a cap of 67% of the statewide average weekly wage.  Learn more details about the new law here.

CLASP is offering a Webinar on Family Leave in 2016 on Thursday, April 21st. Register here.

The Vermont Human Rights Commission’s March newsletter is available here! It features highlights from Vermont’s new paid sick leave law.

Job Announcement — Executive Director of ACLU-VT. The American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont (ACLU-VT) seeks a dynamic, experienced, chief executive to lead and significantly expand a civil liberties mission throughout Vermont. The Executive Director serves as the chief executive officer of the ACLU-VT, with primary responsibility for managing the organization’s day-to-day activities and operations, leading the organization’s fund development efforts, directing the work of a professional staff, and serving as the primary spokesperson for the ACLU-VT. Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director ensures that the organization is fiscally sound and that its internal and external communications, fund development, and programs are meeting the current and emergent needs and interests of those it serves. Find details, including a complete job announcement and job description here.

Pride Center of Vermont is hiring a SafeSpace Anti-Violence Program Coordinator.  This position is full-time, offers health and dental benefits, and is responsible for providing the majority of direct services and systems based advocacy. This position also assists with coordination of PCVT support groups and training opportunities in collaboration with the other SafeSpace co-coordinator. Find the complete job description and learn how to apply here.

Check out the U.S. DOL Labor Blog article in honor of Women’s History month, Untold Stories from the Women’s Bureau: Honoring Women in Public Service and Government.

The AAUW released a new report, Barriers and Bias: The Status of Women in Leadership. Find a graphic fact sheet here. Only 6 sitting governors are women, and only 2 are women of color.

The Vermont Early Childhood Alliance issued a mid-session policy update about the progress of their legislative priorities in Vermont.   

Tough Choices: Vermont Parents are Opting out of Work to Retain Their Benefits

In the main feature in this month’s Kids VT Money Issue contributor Katie Titterton writes about leaving her job when her son was born last year. After crunching the numbers, Titterton and her husband — who both worked at nonprofits — realized that they’d actually be losing money if they both continued working, because they’d have to pay for a family healthcare plan and full-time childcare. With just one salary, they’d be eligible for the government-subsidized healthcare coverage for kids known as Dr. Dynasaur — and wouldn’t have to pay for daycare. So Titterton quit her job. Even though the move made financial sense and allowed her to spend more time with her son, the fact that there was a disincentive to work didn’t sit right with her. Titterton interviews other families in similar situations — along with Vermont’s director of health care reform, economists, employers and early childhood advocates. Read her thought-provoking article here

Read the federal DOL Blog post Back Pay for Nursing Mother Forced to Quit,
discussing the difficult choices families are forced to make by illegal employment discrimination, and the ways the DOL can help. 

The rate of suicide amongst women Veterans is 6 times that of other women. What we know is that most of the women Veterans who have attempted and completed suicide are NOT enrolled in VA care. Help the VA get the word out to women Veterans you might know who are not enrolled in care, especially those who would really benefit from getting into treatment.  Veterans Crisis Line: 800-273-8255 PRESS 1.  Women Veterans Call Center: 855-VA-WOMEN.  White River Junction VA Walk-in clinic: 802-295-9363 x6132. 

Common Good Vermont shares the Bridgespan’s Leadership Development Toolkit, and the leadership development guide, videos, and tools within it, which are designed to share stories, lessons, and immediately actionable next steps so that you can effectively work with your senior leadership team to develop the next generation of leaders for your organization.

Unedited Voices of the Upper Valley: The Rising
Thursday, April 7th at 7:30 p.m. at the Lebanon Opera House, Lebanon, NH

A theatrical presentation presented by WISE with Upper Valley community members sharing real experiences of domestic and sexual violence through reading, dance and song. Directed by Broadway professional Kathe Mull and featuring Gina Capossela and the Raqs Salaam Dance Theatre. This is a powerful evening of transformation. Any and all community members are welcome. Together we can end domestic and sexual violence. For a little preview, go to: https:/ Donations will be accepted at the door. Reservations recommended, box office can be reached at (603) 448-0400. Contact Abby for more information or with questions.

2016 Outright Awards
Friday, April 8th at 6:30 at the Barn at Lang Farm, Essex Junction

Celebrate the best in queer youth leadership, organizing, and the outstanding queer community of Vermont at the Outright Awards! This Hollywood style awards show features appearances by Vermont queer celebrities including Farrah Foxx, Nikki Champagne, and DJ Chia. Enjoy their signature candy bar, cash bar, and delicious hors-‘d’oeuvres created Catering by Dale while you peruse the amazing deals to be found in the Silent Auction.  Then prepare for some serious heart swell as youth, community leaders, and families are recognized for their amazing work to make it better for Vermont’s queer and trans youth.  Tickets cost $15.00, youth, QSA advisors, and Outright volunteers attend for free. Learn more and get your tickets here.

Good Beginnings of Central Vermont’s 4th Annual Baby and Child Expo
Saturday, April 9th from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Berlin Elementary School

Celebrate Good Beginnings of Central Vermont’s 25th Birthday. Don’t miss Rockin’ Ron the Friendly Pirate, Marko the magician, get your family photographed at the professional photo booth, get cozy in the Lactation Lounge with certified Lactation Consultants, Be Seat Smart with car seat safety checks, have a blast with all kinds of fun games, eat delicious food throughout the day, and check out 40+ local vendor and community exhibits!!! There really is something for everyone! Awesome gift bags loaded great products for the whole family for the first 100 families through the door! Wonderful door prizes will be given away all day. All proceeds from the day of the event go to directly support local central VT families. Admission for adults is $8.00, kids are FREE! Learn more at: 

Girls On The Run Vermont 2nd Annual Limitless Potential Day
Sunday, April 10th from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Roy L. Patrick Gym at UMV, Burlington

The day’s events include mini-workshops and lessons with UVM student athletes and Girls on the Run coaches that cover academic and physical goal setting, as well as the importance of positive relationships with friends and family members. Modeled after lessons in the Girls on the Run curriculum, the goal of Limitless Potential Day is to connect Girls on the Run participants to young women who have pushed themselves to achieve their full potential, both physically and academically. The day will conclude with healthy lunch in the University cafeteria and a fun Run/Walk around the indoor UVM track with student athletes. Exclusive to current Girls on the Run Vermont participants and their chaperones, this free event will accept registrations until capacity is reached. Learn more at

2016 Annual Advanced Victim Assistance Conference
April 12 & 13, 2016 at the Executive Court Banquet Facility in Manchester NH

The Annual Tri‐State Advanced Victim Assistance Academy is a joint effort sponsored by the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office, Maine Department of Health and Human Services, USM Muskie School of Public Service, Vermont Center for Crime Victim Services, and the US Attorney’s Offices in New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont. The goal of this 2‐day advanced interactive training, open to both system and community based advocates in New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont, is to build on the knowledge and skills which advocates receive at the week‐long Victim Assistance Academies. The registration fee for the two-day event is $50.00. Food will not be provided. Overnight accommodations are $95.00 single/double occupancy. Scholarships Available: Contact Eimile Bishop at 802 241-1250 x 114.

Start Smart Salary Negotiation Workshop at Norwich University

Vermont Commission on Women in collaboration with Norwich University’s Career and Internship Center will present American Association of University Women’s Start Smart salary negotiation workshop later this month to college students from Norwich and other Vermont campuses.  Start Smart Facilitator will be Lindsey Lathrop-Ryan of Change The Story Vermont.   Interested in attending to see what this is about?  Please RSVP to Vermont Commission on Women, here.

Women Veterans Reading Group – Warfare & Homecoming in Homer’s “Odyssey”
Wednesdays from 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. beginning April 20th
VA Women’s Clinic Conference Room, White River Junction

Roberta Stewart, a Classics professor at Dartmouth College, will be facilitating a weekly reading group of Homer’s Odyssey with Carey Russ, LCSW, Women Veterans Program Manager. The group will begin on Wed 4/20 and will run for 12 weekly sessions.

Who: women Veterans and service members of ALL eras
What: a 12 week reading and discussion group of Homer’s Odyssey
When: begins Wed 4/20 and will run for 12 weekly sessions from 6pm-7:30pm
Where: the conference room in the Women’s Comprehensive Care Clinic at the WRJ VA Medical Center

A free copy of the text will be provided. Please email or call Carey at 802-295-9363 ext 5743 to register.

Women Business Owners Network Spring 2016 Conference: Women, Money and Business – Navigating the Financial Issues Women Business Owners Face Conference
Tuesday April 26th, from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM at The Hampton Inn, Colchester

The Women Business Owners Network presents their Spring 2016 conference which brings together a dynamic series of workshops that provides a deep dive into financial management and decision-making for both experienced and newbie women business owners. It features the fabulous Melinda Moulton, CEO and Co-Founder of Main Street Landing and VCW Commissioner, as keynote speaker. Workshop titles include:

-Making a Living: Pricing Your Products & Services
-GROWing Through Your Real Money Challenges: Here’s How
-Are You Lending Ready?
-Capital Ideas: Choosing the Funding to Grow Your Business
-The Answer to Your Questions Is in Your Financials
-Solo, Independent Contractor, or Employer? Dramatic Change is Coming!

For more information or to register for the conference, visit  WBON thanks current conference underwriter Vermont Federal Credit Union. Companies interested in additional underwriting and sponsor opportunities, please visit  Registration cost is $150.00 for non-members, and $125.00 for members.

Vermont Story Lab
Thursday, April 28th from 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the Capitol Plaza, Montpelier

This is the inaugural event of the VERMONT STORY LAB, a newly forming network of nonprofit storytellers who are excited to cross-pollinate, experiment with new story forms and technologies, and shape powerful narratives that communicate the reach and impact of our organizations. This half-day event is the first in a series of experiential-learning labs funded by the Vermont Community Foundation. Please bring what you know and what you don’t know to make this network active and vibrant!  Cost: $50.  Learn more and purchase tickets here.

2016 Vermont Crime Victim Rights Week Celebration
Friday April 29, 2016 from 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at the Stoweflake Resort

Registration for the morning workshop for advocates, facilitated by Kiricka Yarbough Smith, NC Coalition Against Human Trafficking is required. This workshop is open to victim advocates, lunch is included.

The afternoon Keynote Address will be delivered by Kiricka Yarbough Smith. From 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. the public is welcome to attend the Vermont Crime Victim Service Awards Ceremony.  Learn more and register for the morning workshop here.

Vermont Women’s Fund Benefit Celebration
Tuesday, May 3rd from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at the Davis Center, Burlington

With guest speaker Jodi Kantor of The New York Times, Vermont Public Radio’s Jane Lindholm, and Change the Story leader Tiffany Bluemle. Tickets cost $50.  All proceeds support the work of the Vermont Women’s Fund. Tickets and information available at

Reception at 5:30 includes hors d’oeuvres and cash bar.

The Vermont Women’s Fund at the Vermont Community Foundation was established in 1994 to support women and girls in Vermont through collective philanthropic giving. Today, they focus support on Vermont’s young women and girls, ages 12-25, with a strategic emphasis on programs that offer financial literacy and job and life-skill training.

Jodi Kantor is an award-winning journalist with The New York Times. She is known for her work covering politics, gender, and the workplace. Kantor has written about the treatment of women on Wall Street, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Harvard Business School. Kantor was also the lead reporter for the article “Inside Amazon,” which received national attention last summer for its investigation of Amazon’s company culture. She is the author of the best-selling book, The Obamas.


Working Boards: Why Aren’t We More Diverse? with Jason Lorber

May 5, 2016 from 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm at Channel 17 Studios, 294 N Winooski Ave, Burlington

Stand-up comedian and recovering politician Jason Lorber from Aplomb Consulting presents a highly interactive workshop to engage board members on the big D&I questions, and with specific action steps. Participants will leave the engaging, 60-minute working session with a fuller understanding of how D&I benefits their organization, the challenges they may face to accomplish D&I, who should be involved with finding solutions at their organization, and what to do next, including specific actions. Supported by the A.D. Henderson Foundation, Vermont Community Foundation, National Life Group Foundation, High Meadows Fund and People’s United Bank.  Cost is $18 with lunch. Learn more and purchase tickets here.

Hunger Action Conference 2016
Friday, May 6 from 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the Killington Grand Resort

Attend this year’s Hunger Action Conference, hosted by the Vermont Food Bank, and learn more about addressing poverty and the root causes of hunger! A few of the workshops include:

  • Food is Medicine: Promoting Food Security in Health Care and Community Settings
  • Getting at the Root: What Causes Poverty and Hunger?
  • Fighting Hunger with Healthcare

Keynote Speaker: Smita Narula, a human rights advocate, attorney and academic who has worked globally to promote and defend sustainable access to nutritious foods as a fundamental human right. To learn more and register, visit:  Registration is $70 with discounts available.

OUR House of Ventral Vermont’s Annual Calcutta
Saturday, May 7th from 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. at the Elks Club in Barre

OUR (One Unified Response) House is a Children’s Advocacy Center and Special Investigations Unit that is committed to providing a safe and supportive environment to assist child victims, adult survivors, and non-offending family members in the discovery, intervention, healing, and prevention of child sexual abuse. OUR House serves Washington County, in central Vermont. Tickets are $100, and come with two meals and a raffle number.  Tickets can be purchased by calling 802.476.8825 or via email at

Save the Date for the Vermont Early Childhood Alliance’s 2nd Annual Membership Meeting — May 25 at 2:00 p.m. Join the Alliance at the Three Stallion Inn in Randolph on Wednesday, May 25th from 2:00 pm – 5:30 pm to celebrate 2016 accomplishments, plan for the 2017 legislative session, elect Steering Committee members and network during a social hour. Details on the meeting will be forthcoming. 

Vermont Works For Women Dirt Divas and Rosie’s Girls Summer Camps open for registration!Several camp weeks are already full, register your daughter(s) now! Camp tuition is $300 with financial aid available.

Dirt Divas

Mountain bike & empowerment program for middle school girls! Dirt Divas is a one-week summer day camp that helps girls cultivate confidence, courage and leadership through outdoor adventure. Girls entering 6, 7 and 8th grades practice mountain bike skills and bicycle mechanics, as well as games, swimming and self-defense. It’s a safe, supportive, girl-centered atmosphere that emphasizes leadership, team-building and healthy body image – with lots of fun woven in! A place where girls are encouraged to build strong bodies and minds in the beautiful Vermont outdoors.

Rosie’s Girls

Trades & STEM exploration program for middle school girls! Rosie’s Girls™ is a one-week summer day camp that helps girls develop grit, connection and expanded possibilities as they explore hands-on STEM- and trades-related activities. Girls entering 6, 7 and 8th grades practice the skills of carpenters and engineers as they invent, design and build cooperative projects. It’s a safe, supportive, girl-centered environment and emphasizes friendship, teamwork and healthy body image – with tons of fun woven in! A place where girls can get their hands dirty, take positive risks and try something new.