Investigation in How To Remedy Women’s Wage Disparities

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The Connecticut Department of Labor and Department of Economic and Community Development will do a study on the gender wage gap in Connecticut, including recommendations for actions to eliminate it, the governor announced Wednesday.

Our coverage of this issue suggests it’s the high number of “super earners” in Connecticut that is one factor — the top 10 percent of male earners in any given field often far out earn the top 10 percent of women in that field.

Nationwide, women’s passivity in negotiating for wages also contributes.

“While this is a complicated issue, that cannot be an excuse for inaction,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said.  “It’s time for our state to find ways to address gender wage disparity.”

“As a woman who has worked the majority my career in the private sector, and now the public sector, I have a unique vantage point in looking into this important issue,” DECD Commissioner Catherine Smith said.  “Economic opportunities should be open and equal to all Connecticut residents.  The wage disparity in our state based on gender is troubling and warrants a closer examination into the factors driving our poor performance.”

The Governor has asked the commissioners to make recommendations to address the gender wage gap by October 2013.

Teresa Younger, executive director of the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, praised the governor, saying: “He is sending the right message to the women of Connecticut, who make up 51 percent of the population and nearly half the workforce. “

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