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VWW's office remains closed as staff primarily work remotely. Please contact us in advance if you need to visit our Winooski office; our team is available via phone or email.

Our Advocacy Priorities

Supporting Policies & Efforts to Advance Gender Equity

Since 1987, Vermont Works for Women (VWW) has worked directly with women, girls, and gender-expansive individuals to help them overcome individual and societal barriers to economic security.

Through programming, partnerships, and policy, our goal is to ensure education and work are equitable and accessible for all. For decades, VWW has partnered with employers, state agencies, schools, career and technical education centers, and policymakers to advance gender equity in these spaces and systems.

Explore our legislative priorities below. Please contact us for testimony, data, and recommendations. 

Equity in Infrastructure

Women are underrepresented in high-growth fields. To meet the labor needs across our state and access historic federal infrastructure funding, Vermont needs to prioritize the recruitment and retention of underrepresented workers – particularly women – in the trades.

We have created an Equity in Infrastructure framework to outline our state’s opportunities to increase funding, build our workforce, and provide equitable pathways.

View the framework
Vermont Works for Women's Equity in Infrastructure framework front cover. VWW is advocating for equity in the skilled trades workforce.

Legislative Priorities

Justice-involved women, due to their gender and other intersecting factors, face tremendous barriers to economic independence after being released from Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility. State-funded gender, race, and trauma-responsive reentry services and supports for women leaving incarceration are essential to their successful reintegration into the community. Vermont must also increase the availability of transitional housing and employment pathways, with wraparound supports, for women.

Vermont Career and Technical Education programs have the ability and access to train our next-generation workforce. Working with community organizations connected to Vermont's youth can increase access, opportunities, and pathways to support enrollment and retention of more girls and gender-expansive youth.

Serve, Learn & Earn is a workforce development collaboration of Vermont Works for Women, Audubon Vermont, ReSOURCE, and Vermont Youth Conservation Corps. The group’s shared vision is for every Vermonter to have a viable pathway to employment and affordable education in exchange for serving their state. Participants serve by working on important projects in priority areas such as climate, housing, outdoor recreation, and infrastructure. The Vermont Legislature funds the Serve, Learn & Earn programmatic collaboration to support additional workforce development training programs and expand opportunities to more participants.

With women providing most of the unpaid and paid caregiving, a lack of employment supports like paid leave disproportionately impacts women’s economic independence. Providing workers with paid family and medical leave ensures they can take extended leave, with pay, to care for a new child, recover from an illness, or care for a sick family member, and then return to their jobs afterward. Paid family and medical leave supports employee retention, increases workforce participation, and helps close the gender pay gap.

In 2021, the Vermont Legislature passed a comprehensive bill, H.171, which set in motion a public commitment to achieving an equitable, accessible, affordable, and high-quality early childhood education system in Vermont. VWW supports current efforts to improve recruitment and retention of early childhood educators, streamline reporting requirements for child care providers, and make child care more affordable for more Vermont families.

In 1965, a Presidential Executive Order called for equal opportunities for women and minorities to be hired for state contract work. These minimum targets, set at 6.9% female and from 0.8% to 17.3% minority participation, have yet to be met by any state in the U.S.

- U.S. Department of Labor Office of Federal Contract Compliance

Female enrollment in non-traditional programs at Vermont’s technical education centers still sits at less than 12%.

- Vermont Agency of Education

Across the U.S., women are more likely to enter prison with a history of abuse, trauma, and mental health problems, and most women in prison (62%) are mothers of minor children.

- Prison Policy Initiative

More than 21,000 children under the age of 5 in Vermont are likely to need some form of childcare due to all available parents working; however, childcare programs in Vermont only have about 12,380 spaces available for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.

- Let's Grow Kids

65% of Vermont workers don’t have access to Paid Family and Medical Leave.

- Vermont FaMLI Coalition


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Research and Data Public Assets Institute: State of Working Vermont 2021 PDF download
Research and Data Prison Policy Initiative: Vermont Profile Website GO
Policy Recommendations ACLU Blueprint for Smart Justice Vermont PDF download
Research and Data Vermont Legislative Joint Fiscal Office: VT Basic Needs Budget and Livable Wage Report, January 2021 PDF download
Policy Recommendations Let’s Grow Kids 2023 Policy Agenda PDF download
Alison Lamagna. Alison is the point of contact for Vermont Works for Women's advocacy priorities.
Contact Us

Alison LamagnaDirector of Impact

802-655-8900 x104