Equal Pay Day
For Immediate Release
Contact: Katherine Levasseur
VERMONT HOUSE RECOGNIZES EQUAL PAY DAY
Montpelier, VT - The Vermont House today passed House Concurrent Resolution 97, a resolution recognizing Equal Pay Day. Equal Pay Day is a symbolic day dedicated to recognizing the gender pay gap. April 4th is the 2017 date that symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year. House Speaker Mitzi Johnson joined the Vermont Commission on Women and Change the Story today as they released their 2017 Status Report: Vermont Women and Leadership.
“This report highlights critical findings. While Vermont is at the forefront of women in political leadership in the General Assembly, we have much work to do to achieve gender parity and ensure Vermont women are fully represented in state-wide leadership positions and at the helm of businesses, colleges and universities. We know that gender balance in leadership matters-for pay equity, professional advancement, growing our workforce and expanding the career aspirations of our next generations of leaders. To keep communities moving forward towards a strong, healthy future, women need to be at the table” said House Speaker Mitzi Johnson.
Women make up 39.4% of those serving in Vermont’s General Assembly. A majority of committee chairs (8 out of 15) in the House are women, both majority leaders in the House and the Senate are women, and women chair the House and Senate committees that build the budget, establish tax policy and develop the capital spending plan. While women’s participation in Vermont’s General Assembly is the second highest in the country, the pace of change has all but leveled off since 1993; in 24 years, women’s share of legislative seats increased by just 4%. Just one of Vermont’s six statewide officials is a woman, trailing the national average by 7 percentage points. Of the 296 individuals ever elected to statewide office, only 11 have been women.
“Young women need to be at table making decisions with us and helping to shift this story” Speaker Johnson continued. “It’s not going to happen without them. When you look at the federal level, sixty-five percent of Presidents, almost sixty percent of Senators, and fifty percent of Congressmen and women began their public service and were elected to office before the age of thirty-five. If we don’t have more young women entering now, they won’t be in the pipeline to enter the national stage where we can substantially change the story.”