October 14, 2019

Report finds Vermont’s working women are stuck in the 1970s

Receptionists-e1462153773191By Tiffany Danitz Pache

For Vermont Digger

Women in Vermont still tend to choose the same traditionally female professions — such as teaching and nursing — that they did in the 1970s, despite their greatly increased opportunities. And that may cost them and their families, according to a recent report, because female-dominated fields pay less.

“Where Vermont Women Work … and Why It Matters” is the second brief produced by Change The Story, a statewide initiative of the Vermont Commission on Women, the Vermont Women’s Fund and Vermont Works for Women.

The brief is based on a study of occupational segregation and wage disparity between genders in Vermont.

Nationally, women make 79 cents to a man’s dollar in the same occupation, according to the report. Vermont women earn 84 percent of what men do.

But the issue isn’t just about not getting paid the same amount for the same job. Another, more culturally systemic phenomenon exists and that is that women gravitate toward fields that historically pay lower wages.

“Women are clustered in the same occupations today as they were back in 1970,” said Cary Brown, of the Vermont Commission on Women. “We still have cultural ideas about what are appropriate jobs for women and what are appropriate jobs for men.”

Women are still entering what have been considered female professions — including office administration and food service — at a higher rate than men and are continuing to avoid what have been known as traditionally male fields, such as computers and math, construction, engineering and law enforcement, according to the report.

To read the full story, click here.

All this weeks News Articles