(6/8/21) Virtual Event, Vermont – On Tuesday over the lunch hour, over 250 people gathered virtually for the launch of the new Leaders for Equity and Equal Pay (LEEP) Toolkit. The Toolkit is a unique and powerful DIY resource, containing an excel-based Equity Management Tool and a companion Playbook, that provides Vermont’s small to midsize employers with information and methodology needed to conduct in-house, ongoing gender and racial pay equity reviews. The full color, 60-page Playbook provides a wealth of information for anyone interested in learning more about compensation philosophy and building organizational equity. The Toolkit is free of charge and can be downloaded from changethestoryvt.org/payequity.
The launch was organized by Change The Story VT, a partnership initiative of Vermont Works for Women, Vermont Commission on Women (VCW), and the Vermont Women's Fund. Speakers included national pay equity expert, economist, and former Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Evelyn Murphy and Toolkit creators Frank Sadowski and Krysta Sadowski. Lt. Gov. Murphy was received with a virtual room full of nodding heads when she encouraged attendees to “change workplaces, not women”.
VCW Commissioner Kerin Durfee moderated a panel that included representatives from three of the seven Vermont employers who participated in the Leaders for Equity and Equal Pay professional development program, which met throughout 2020. Duane Peterson of Suncommon, Lisa Yaeger of the Vermont Foodbank, and Mara Rivera of Chroma Technology all spoke to their experiences implementing the tools, and encouraged others to do the same.
Currently, the gender wage gap in Vermont stands at 16 cents, which means all women on average make 84 cents to the $1.00 paid on average to men. When broken out by race and ability the wage gap is much wider. Nationally, Black women are paid 37% less, Latinx women 45% less, Indigenous women 40% less, and Asian American and Pacific Islander women are paid up to 50% less than white men. Vermont women with disabilities are paid on average 26% less than men without disabilities. Mothers are paid on average 30% compared to fathers. The COVID pandemic disproportionately impacted women, with more than 2 million women leaving the workforce over the last year. The LEEP Toolkit will provide smaller organizations with the methodology and resources to lead the way out of the “she-cession.”
Change The Story VT is a partnership initiative of the Vermont Women’s Fund, Vermont Commission on Women, and Vermont Works for Women