Hartford Courant, Nov. 15, 2011
By Danielle Altimari
On the campaign trail, Dannel P. Malloy pledged to make an effort to appoint women to positions within his administration, but a new report says the governor has fallen short of his goal.
As of Nov. 1, women hold slightly more than one-third — 34.4 percent — of about 75 high-level paid appointments.
That’s about 3 percent fewer than held these posts in the administration of Malloy’s predecessor, M. Jodi Rell, according to the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, which compiled the survey.
The commission also took a preliminary look at the number of women serving in highly paid appointed positions throughout the executive branch. Thirty-two percent of executive branch agency heads are women and 38 percent of agency deputies are women, according to the commission.
The Malloy administration says the commission failed to count two high-level women.
“Unintentionally PCSW left two of Gov. Malloy’s key cabinet appointments off their list: Deb Heinrich…the state’s first-ever non-profit liaison, and Jeanette DeJesus, the woman Gov. Malloy appointed as his Special Advisor on Heath Care,” spokeswoman Colleen Flanagan said in an email.
“The governor is extremely pleased with the caliber of appointments he’s made since taking office. One of the reasons the state is doing more with less is because Gov. Malloy has put together an administration that is tough, talented, committed to change, and diverse. Going forward, the governor will continue to be mindful of the importance of having a diverse administration,” Flanagan added.
Teresa C. Younger, executive director of the commission, said Heinrich and DeJesus were not counted because they are serving in new posts that were created by Malloy and are not proscribed by state statute.
During the 2010 campaign, the commission asked all three candidates running for governor to sign a pledge “to make their best effort to name women” to 50 percent of those 75 high-level paid positions identified by the commission.
After the election, the commission presented Malloy with a binder full of the resumes of more than 60 highly qualified, executive-level women willing to serve in government.
Younger said in a release, “It’s our belief that the people who lead state agencies should more accurately reflect the make-up of those they serve, 51% of whom are women.”
Younger commended Malloy for appointing several high-profile women to head agencies traditionally led by men, including Catherine Smith at the Department of Economic Development, Melody Currey at the Department of Motor Vehicles, Linda Roberts at the Connecticut Siting Council, and Elin Katz at the Office of Consumer Counsel.