Why are so many women poor? Breaking out of the gender poverty trap

Why are women a disproportionate share of Vermonters in poverty? Why are 4 out of 10 women who work full time unable to meet their basic needs? Why do women earn 84 cents for every dollar earned by a man? What does it cost a young mom to take a few years off to raise kids? These questions and more are the focus of a report on Women, Work & Wages from Change the Story Vermont, an initiative to align policy, program, and philanthropy to fast-track women’s economic status in Vermont. The organization recently received national attention when it created sports jerseys emblazoned with #equalpay, which were worn by members of the Burlington High School girls soccer team during a game this fall. The players were penalized for wearing unauthorized uniforms but their advocacy of equal pay for women went viral. We spend the hour discussing the issues affecting women, work and poverty in Vermont. (December 18, 2019 broadcast)

Tiffany Bluemle, director, Change the Story Vermont

Cary Brown, executive director, Vermont Commission on Women

Part 1

Part 2

Working more, getting less: Vermont’s working women struggle to get ahead

A new report, “Where Women Work and Why It Matters,” developed by Change the Story VT paints a disturbing picture of the plight of working women in Vermont. 43% of VT women who work full-time do not make enough to cover basic living expenses. Women who work full-time are disproportionately employed in low-wage jobs – across every age group, at every level of education. And Vermont women are especially vulnerable in their senior years, when their median annual income from Social Security ($10,000) is half that of men ($20,000). The report was backed by the Vermont Women’s Fund, Vermont Commission on Women and Vermont Works for Women. We discuss the state of working women in Vermont and potential solutions. (May 4, 2016 broadcast)

Tiffany Bluemle, director, Change the Story VT

Marybeth Redmond, director of development & communications, Vermont Works for Women

Taking the lead: Women & families in the workplace in Vermont

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 70 percent of women with children under age 18 are in the U.S. workforce, and working mothers are the sole or primary breadwinners in 40 percent of households. Is Vermont a leader or laggard when it comes to providing opportunities for women and families in the workplace? We talk with people who have taken the lead in making workplaces women and family friendly.

Bram Kleppner, CEO, Danforth Pewter

Cary Brown, Executive Director, Vermont Commission on Women

Russ Elek, Communication and Membership Manager, VBSR

Sarah Lord, Seventh Generation

Sascha Mayer, CEO and Co-founder, Mamava,

Gwen Pokalo, Director of the Women’s Small Business Program at Mercy Connections