CT News Junkie, Nov. 15, 2011
By Christine Stuart
On the campaign trail Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed a pledge to try and name women to 50 percent of his administration’s top positions, but a report Tuesday from the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women shows he’s fallen short of his goal.
As of Nov. 1 the commission says 34.4 percent of the top positions are filled by women, which is approximately 3 percent fewer than during former Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s administration. The rest of the positions or 65.6 percent are held by males, the report found.
The Malloy administration said the commission “unintentionally” failed to include at least two of Malloy’s cabinet appointments namely Deb Heinrich, the former lawmaker Malloy charged with being the state’s first-ever non-profit liaison, and Jeanette DeJesus, who was appointed as his Special Advisor on Heath Care.
“The Governor is extremely pleased with the caliber of appointments he’s made since taking office,“ Colleen Flanagan, Malloy’s spokeswoman, said. “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.”
Teresa Younger, PCSW executive director, commended Malloy for appointing several of women to head up agencies considered “non-traditional” for a woman to lead, but pointed out that “It’s our belief that the people who lead state agencies should more accurately reflect the make-up of those they serve, 51 percent of whom are women.”
She said Dr. Jewell Mullen Commissioner of the Dept. of Public Health and former Supreme Court Justice Joette Katz who now heads the Dept. of Children and Families came to Malloy‘s attention through the ConnGAP program.
Younger also pointed out that all four of Malloy’s closest advisers are males, but said that the departure of Malloy’s Chief of Staff Tim Bannon gives him an opportunity to consider a woman for the position.
“Diversifying the ranks of leadership brings a wider range of experiences to the table when key policy decisions are being made,” Younger said.