To the Editor:
Your recent editorial (“Grand Gestures Leading Nowhere” Jan. 28) is both offensive and inaccurate. If our friend and noble adversary Larry Cohen were to, as you say, “come out of his grave” it would no doubt be to yank the editorial pen out of your hand for your incivility. And even Larry, who toward the end of his life occasionally called us for data and information about the economic status of women, might question your dismissive attitude about wage inequity.
Rather than acknowledge the real issue of discrimination, you recycle the myth that the wage gap is all about women’s career choices. In fact, the gap exists across all pay grades and career fields, so please explain why it is OK, in your book, for female lawyers to make 23 percent less than their male peers, or for women in female-dominated fields to earn significantly less: male nurses are paid, on average, 13 percent more than their female colleagues, despite making up just 10 percent of the nursing labor market. And since you bring up traditionally male bastions like aerospace engineering, it may interest you to know that women who do choose that field make just 80 percent of their male colleagues, according to the U.S. Dept. of Labor.
If this isn’t the right time to address the reasons for such gross inequities, and to study where in Connecticut they exist, when will be the right time?
And finally, contrary to what you say, Gov. Malloy has not appointed a commission to study the wage gap. He has asked two standing agencies (the Labor Dept. and the DECD) to look into the matter. Given the fact that women make about 80 percent of purchasing decisions in their families, and that the wage gap robs women of between $700,000 and $2 million over their working lives, shouldn’t any responsible business publication examine this issue as a missed opportunity for economic stimulus?
Teresa Younger Executive director Permanent Commission on the Status of Women