In support of Sorrell

To the Editor:

There is less than one week to go before Vermonters choose who will be the democratic candidate for Attorney General this fall. I have a message for the party and the electorate: those of you who support gender equality ought to cast your ballot for Bill Sorrell.

It's not just because of the work Bill does on behalf of the women of Vermont, although that should not go without comment. Just this summer, for example, the Office hosted an Equal Pay conference and the first of what will be several roundtable discussions about how to achieve gender equity in the workplace. At each forum, it was clear that the scope of the Office's commitment was not limited to pay equity - Vermont women still only make 84 cents for every dollar earned by Vermont men - but also included keeping women employed to the level of their potential, achieving financial stability for Vermont children and their families, and providing dignity for the many Vermont women who are both breadwinners and primary caregivers for their families. If Bill wins reelection this fall, I expect the Office will throw its weight behind legislation that will close the wage gap and make inroads on these broader issues.

Bill doesn't just talk the talk, however, he also hires, retains and promotes female attorneys at a rate that puts many law firms to shame. The Office's organizational chart is proof enough - four out of five of Bill's division chiefs are women, as is his current deputy. In another anomaly, some of the most respected attorneys currently in the Office are women who have chosen to trade in some of those office hours to do the important work of caring for their families. Importantly, the Office has also been flexible with men - a male colleague of mine worked reduced hours for years to spend more time with his daughter.

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