BURLINGTON, VT -You may have recently seen them featured alongside Megan Rapinoe in Sports Illustrated or with the U.S Women’s National Team in a Time Magazine.
The Burlington High School Girls Soccer Team gained national attention after players received excessive-celebration yellow cards for removing their uniform jerseys to reveal their #EQUALPAY shirts article released Wednesday morning.
The soccer team was inspired by the U.S Women’s world cup soccer team and its outspoken star Megan Rapinoe. The team was asked to appear in a Sports Illustrated video naming Rapinoe sports person of the year. They were also mentioned in a Time Magazine article that talked about equal pay and names the U.S women’s soccer team as Times Athlete of the year.
Despite the attention, the pay gap still exists in Vermont.
“I mean we’re not going to stop until we make a change and that’s what we want people to know,” said soccer player Lydia Sheeser.
When the girls thought of the idea to make equal pay shirts. Sheeser went to her mom to start a partnership that would help the girls make shirts and spread the word. Her mom, Jessica Nordhaus is the Director of Strategy and Partnerships for an organization called Change The Story VT. The organization is an initiative to advance women’s economic security in Vermont.
Change the Story Vermont will be releasing a report on the economic status on women on December 18th that shows women on average are making $8,000 less a year than men in Vermont.
“Which is the equivalent of six months of groceries or child care for two children in a family of four. So, we are very happy to have these messengers and to work with them on that,” said Nordhaus.
Change The Story Vermont helped the girls think even bigger by working with leaders in the Vermont women’s movement. They also helped the soccer team sell thousands of the now famous equal pay shirts with proceeds going to increase access and diversity in a local girls youth soccer league.
Team members say their work is just beginning. Senior Helen Worden said, “It’s being talked about and it’s being heard which is good but we still have a ways to go but it’s good that we are starting the fight.”
Just like the U.S National Team inspired them, they hope they too can inspire women around the world.
“You really can do what you can and if you do that then there will be results like there was for us and we are just one little soccer team,” said senior Maggie Barlow.
For more information on how to buy a shirt click here.