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$3.8 Billion Reasons to Accelerate Women’s Business Ownership in VT


The Cedar Room at the Vermont State House was a sea of bright red scarves and sweaters today as Change the Story unveiled their latest report, “Vermont Women in Leadership.”

Change the Story VT

This report is fourth in a series of rigorous, data-driven investigations of women’s economic well-being in Vermont. These reports find positive examples of increasing gender parity in Vermont’s economy. They also find serious gaps in pay, career advancement, and leadership representation.

Everyone who cares about Vermont’s economic vitality and growth should care about closing these gaps.

  • If Vermont women chose business ownership at the same pace as men, there would be 10,500 more businesses in the state.
  • If just 1 in 4 of the existing women-owned businesses without employees hired one worker, it would result in an additional 5,2000 new jobs.
  • Women-owned businesses have the potential to add $3.8 billion to our state’s economy if they matched the same hiring stats as male-owned businesses.

Change the Story VT held their press conference today, April 4, because it symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year.

America’s gender pay gap is real. Read the Economic Policy Institute’s “You can’t mansplain away the gender pay gap” article.

Here in Vermont, an analysis by the National Partnership for Women & Families based on US Census Bureau data finds that Vermont women employed in full-time, year-round jobs are paid 84 cents for every dollar paid to men.

That’s $7,787 less than men working the same hours, which adds up to a combined annual total of nearly $1.5 billion.

Equal pay would benefit Vermont’s economy. But more to the point, it would really help the 4,600 Vermont households headed by women in poverty.

There are many reasons the gender pay gap exists. There’s also a lot that businesses can do to close the gap.

For example, at today’s press conference Jen Kimmich (co-founder/owner of The Alchemist) noted that men tend to be more forthright in negotiating salary and asking for raises. Businesses can account for this by making sure women employees are getting raises at the same rate as men.

Kimmich then quoted Warren Buffett, who said “we’ve seen what can be accomplished when we use 50% of our human capacity. If you visualize what 100% can do, you’ll join me as an unbridled optimist about America’s future.”

Every Tuesday, AgendaVT will look at ways Vermont businesses are attempting to use 100% of their human capacity. We’ll also share tips and resources for women to advance their career and business goals.

In the meantime, you can download all four of Change The Story’s reports for free:

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