March 2018 News & Updates

March marks Women’s History Month and the celebration of International Women's Day . While serving as important annual reminders, I have often wondered whether they are more than a media opportunity to give a shout-out to women around the world.

This year is different

Since last October when the Harvey Weinstein story broke, thanks to incredible work of Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey of The New York Times , we have experienced a true sea change around issues of sexual harassment and abuse, most especially in the workplace.
Last month, more than 700 people were fortunate to hear firsthand from Jodi at a Women’s Fund event in Burlington about her experience researching and writing the story about the many women who suffered sexual harassment and assault at the hands of one of Hollywood’s most powerful men.
As it turned out, Weinstein’s behavior was not so different from other powerful leaders who engaged in inappropriate behavior and were publicly fired or forced to resign. And from the perspective of the millions of women who joined the #MeToo movement, exposing this longstanding, corrosive issue could not have come at a better time!
So this year, when you hear mention of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, know there is some serious clout behind it! The power dynamic is shifting in favor of women. That’s something to truly celebrate!
Please read on to learn more about the questions Jodi Kantor posed to us, as well as information on Women’s Fund happenings. And, Happy International Women’s Day!
“What are we going to be able to tell our children? That the #MeToo moment passed? Or where were you when the wall came down?
And what did you do?”
These are the questions investigative journalist, Jodi Kantor, posed to a capacity-crowd assembled in Burlington at a special gathering hosted by the Vermont Women’s Fund in early February.

Jodi Kantor is The New York Times reporter who, with her colleague Megan Twohey, broke the Harvey Weinstein story , chronicling a 30-year history of sexual harassment and predation in the film industry. The explosion of the #MeToo movement quickly followed, providing a torrent of evidence that sexual harassment and abuse is not limited to Hollywood and movie stars.

When Jodi gave the keynote address at our 2016 annual event, we celebrated her stories that put a spotlight on harassment and pay equity issues in Silicon Valley and her story that inspired Vermont’s own Mamava . Who knew back then that Jodi’s reporting would start a cultural revolution?

Thanks to her investigative reporting and to the actresses who were brave enough to go on the record with their stories, a light is shining on women’s struggles like never before, revealing the inequities of the power dynamic at its very core. Jodi explained that the strength of the Weinstein story came from the women; these women were more famous and held more public trust than the harasser. As she explained, the “moral impetus” shifted as women, agonizing over the decision to tell their stories, took the risk and hoped for change. Jodi shared that over and over, women told her, “If I don’t come forward, will someone else get hurt?”

The highlight of February’s event with Jodi was an open question and answer period. The most poignant question came from a Champlain Valley Union High School student who posed, “What should my generation do?” Jodi stayed true to her role as a journalist and responded with a thought-provoking question of her own, “You are the first generation attending high school and college since this public airing. Let’s see how that plays out. How will your generation decide to respond?”

This is an ongoing story and one that we will be following as it relates so strongly to the Vermont Women’s Fund’s work with Change The Story and our mission to fast track women’s economic security. We are so grateful to Jodi for making the time to come to Vermont when she is in such high demand and stay tuned for more about her book, being published in spring 2019.

Event photos by Barrie Fisher Photo
Next Business Peer Exchange Begins March 21 st

The Business Peer Exchange is a special opportunity for employers (and their employees) to learn what is involved in gender equity training and how it impacts the bottom line for businesses and helps foster a healthy workplace culture.
Join employees from PC Construction, Tetra Tech, Logic Supply, VEIC, SunCommon,, City of Burlington, Seventh Generation, Rhino Foods, National Life, and the Permanent Fund for Vermont's Children. You will be in good company!
Email the Business Peer Exchange for more information and to join the next cohort starting March 21 st .
Join the Persist 5K on May 13
The indomitable PerSisters are at it again! On Mother’s Day, May 13 th at 9 a.m., the Persist5K Walk/Run will be held along the bike path in downtown Burlington. Join the multi-generational event to support the spirit of the Women’s March, #MeToo, and #TimesUp. Register to run or walk this special 5K .

It’s a great way to kick off Mother’s Day - take a look at last year's photos on the Persist5K Facebook page , you’ll see how much fun everyone had. What makes it special for us is that all proceeds go to support the Vermont Women’s Fund. Thank you for this incredible support!

Skida , the hat company, designed a new signature headband called “Pink Alert” with the Persist5K logo for this year’s race. 

There’s still time to be a sponsor and join the roster of supporters like Gravel & Shea, Vermont Gynecology, Petra Cliffs, The Alchemist, Get it Done, and Champlain Valley Compost. You don't need to be a business to be a sponsor. Individual sponsors are most welcome, starting at the $100 level.

Click here to sign up for the race as a participant or a sponsor.
Gifts Honoring Loved Ones

We encourage gifts to the Vermont Women’s Fund to be dedicated to a special woman in one’s life. Before the end of 2017, we received the following contributions:

  • Kay Ryder in memory of Edna W. Hatton and Jean V. Ryder
  • Catherine Simonson in honor of the clinical leadership of Howard Center’s Client Services Cabinet
  • Andrea Geyling Moore plus John, Mayali, & Krya in honor of Aunt Lee McLendon
  • Hilary Simonds in honor of Brenda Bisbee
  • Eve Horwitz in honor of Margy Young, Susan McCaslin, and Lydia Spitzer
  • Rev. Catherine P. Nichols in honor of Elizabeth Ready and her three granddaughters
  • Warren and Barbara King in memory of Jane Schultz
  • Catherine & Jonathan Shapiro in honor of Dana Donaldson
  • Michael Sirotkin in memory of Sally Fox
  • Michael Kroll in honor of Phyllis Kroll

Thank you!
Women's Fund Grantees Accepting Applications for Summer Programs
Applications are open (and some soon to close) to give young women engaging experiences this summer. Check them out or share them with young Vermonters.
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