By Patricia Villers
DERBY >> Raising children, caring for elderly parents, and trying to carve out time for themselves without feeling guilty were issues discussed Wednesday at a forum at City Hall.
Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman and Teresa C. Younger, executive director, Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, co-hosted “A Roundtable On Healthcare and Connecticut Women.”
More than 30 women, including officials, representatives of nonprofits and small business owners attended the invitation-only event. Mayor Anita Dugatto, who owns a dental practice, hosted the event.
Wyman said the subject of “women’s issues” is a continually changing one. “Every issue is a woman’s issue,” she said. “Women today are juggling everything.”
It was the seventh such discussion Wyman and Younger have held throughout the state. Previous roundtables have focused on issues such as workplace policies and STEM, an acronym for a national Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math initiative in public schools, said Juliet Manalan, Wyman’s director of communications.
They started the series of roundtable events after the November release of a report prepared by The Gender Wage Gap Task Force. Younger was a member of the task force.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy had asked the state Department of Labor and state Department of Economic and Community Development to study why there is a gender wage gap in Connecticut. A report on the findings and recommendations concerning the wage gap was released in November.
Younger said the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women has been existence for more than 40 years. “Now it’s an umbrella agency,” she said, covering women’s health and safety and economic security.
“Women make 78 cents to every dollar a man makes,” Younger said. “We do a very poor job as women touting ourselves.”
Wyman said the recent minimum wage increase “affected 125,000 women” in Connecticut who are paid at or slightly above the minimum wage.
Younger said “the number one thing women needed” according to a study published by Maria Shriver, was “paid leave time to care for a sick child, an aging parent or oneself.”