Closing the Pay Gap in Vermont

WomenST. JOHNSBURY— The AAUW says Vermont ranks behind 3 other states and Washington D.C. when it comes to the pay gap between men and women. On average nationally, women make 80 cents to the dollar. In Vermont women make 6 cents more but that is still less then men.



The Vermont Legislature has passed a bill that would ban potential employers from asking about past salaries. The bill is currently being proofread by the House of Representatives before it is sent to Governor Scott.

"This bill came forward because it is viewed as one of the strategies to start closing the wage gap," said Senator Jane Kitchel of Caledonia County. "Often times if you are asked for your salary, it is really locking you in to what might have been a lower compensation job. And not necessarily reflective of the skills and the knowledge and abilities and the demands of the job for which you are applying."

"Traditionally men have been the breadwinners and have often been seen as needing more money," said Lilly Talbert, Program and Communications Coordinator for the Vermont Commission on Women. "It's just taking a long time to change that. It's a social change that's happening very slowly."

"One way women can personally try to close the wage gap is through negotiating for their salaries," said Lindsey Lathrop a Career and Business Coach. "When we don't negotiate, especially those first jobs, we are literally leaving money on the table."

Lathrop offers four steps to better negotiate your salary. Step one, know your value. Step two, set your target salary. Step three, know your strategy. And step four, practice.

3 numbers can help you better negotiate your salary. The first is your target salary. The second is the raise you are looking for. And the third is the lowest you can take before you walk away.

"It's going to be another 35 years before the wage gap closes," said Talbert.

"The perception that women are bossy, or intimidating, or aggressive when they do negotiate, that is how the wage gap continues to persist," said Lathrop.

Lathrop also mentions mistakes people make when negotiating, like accepting the first offer or not buying enough time to counter.

Women Negoiating Salaries from NewsLINC on Vimeo.