CTNewsJunkie, By Christine Stuart

1/24/2013

Two of the women in Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration will study the “factors that contribute to the gender wage gap in Connecticut’s workforce.”

According to the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women in 2010, nationally women earned 77.4 cents on the dollar earned by men. In Connecticut it was 76 cents.

Department of Labor Commissioner Sharon Palmer and Department of Economic Development Commissioner Catherine Smith will lead the Connecticut study and make recommendations to eliminate wage inequity based on gender. The study is expected to be completed in October.

The study will be part of Malloy’s Feb. 6 budget proposal and isn’t expected to cost the state any money, but it may be sort of an olive branch to a gender that makes up less than 50 percent of his administration and more than 50 percent of the state’s population.

Malloy was criticized in 2011 by the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women for putting together an administration where only 34 percent of the top positions were filled by women.

As of Nov. 1, 2011, the commission found that 34.4 percent of the top positions in the Malloy administration were filled by women, which is approximately 3 percent fewer than former Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s administration. The rest of the positions, or 65.6 percent, were held by males, the report found. In the past year, not much has changed, but Palmer did take the place of a male commissioner which tips the gender balance closer toward the 50 percent goal.

“We applaud the Governor for showing solid leadership on this critical issue,” PCSW Executive Director Teresa Younger said Wednesday upon hearing about the study.

“All enlightened public policy flows from solid data, and so the governor is justified in calling for ways to study the factors contributing to the gender wage gap. He is sending the right message to the women of Connecticut, who make up 51 percent of the population and nearly half the workforce.”

The move to conduct the study comes at a time when Malloy is considering his re-election bid. He has not yet announced whether he will seek another term.