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BLS Research & Consulting participates in CT Community Foundation Event

 Brittany, far right, pictured with panel participants (from L to R): Kate Farrar, Tekisha Everette, and Estela Lopez. Back: Mark Berardi

Brittany, far right, pictured with panel participants (from L to R): Kate Farrar, Tekisha Everette, and Estela Lopez. Back: Mark Berardi

Brittany was so honored to be a panel participant at the Connecticut Community Foundation's Women's Giving Circle event in Oakville, CT. Brittany and her fellow panel members discussed a range of challenges women and girls are facing today, including economic insecurity, healthcare, sexual assault and harassment, and education.

Here's how Brittany answered the opening question, "In order to overcome inequalities, we must prioritize need. In your opinion, what is the single biggest challenge facing women and girls in our country and how we begin to solve it?”

I think on a cultural belief level, the biggest barrier to women’s advancement is the belief that when bad things happen to women, it’s their fault. Looking at the workplace, women are blamed for making less money than men because they are told they didn’t negotiate, or they didn’t ask for more money like their male colleagues do. We don’t ask what the employer can or should do to remedy the wage gap, we blame women for not knowing how to negotiate. This is also the case with sexual violence—when women are raped or sexually assaulted, people tend to ask questions about what she was wearing or how she was behaving to explain why she got assaulted. We don’t ask why men rape, or how we can stop men from perpetrating the high rates of violence against women. And while it’s really helpful and practical to give women advice like don’t drink too much and carry mace, or write articles that teach women how to negotiate their salaries, we need to stop placing the burden on women and hold systems and institutions accountable for equality. These are not just women’s issues, these are issues that affect families and that affect our country as a whole. We all need to take responsibility.

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Brittany Stalsburg