Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Jan. 23 that the state would begin to look for ways to address Connecticut’s wage disparity between genders.
Malloy cited a study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, which says that Connecticut females in full-time and salaried positions earn about 75.8 percent of what their male colleagues earn.
Nationally, according to the study, females in full-time and salaried positions make 81 percent of what their male colleagues earn.
“The disparity in Connecticut is unacceptably high, and while this is a complicated issue, that cannot be an excuse for inaction,” Malloy said in a press release. “In many families, women are the breadwinners. In others, they are the only source of income.”
Officials from the state Department of Economic and Community Development and the state Department of Labor (DOL) have been tasked with studying the factors that contribute the pay gap and to make recommendations by October 2013 to address the gap.
“A lifetime of earning less pay not only means a smaller paycheck, but also means a retirement with less security for a woman and her family,” Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman said in a press release. “That is a fundamental economic disadvantage that is clearly unfair and needs to be dealt with so women can better support their families today and retire on equal footing with men.”
In Fairfield County, where the median income for females is $47,000, nearly 37,000 households are headed by single women, according to a study by the Fairfield County Foundation’s Fund for Women and Girls. Other studies have shown it takes an income of at least $60,000 to raise two children.
“Regardless of gender, every worker should be paid equally for equal work,” said DOL Commissioner Sharon Palmer in a press release. “Women comprise 47 percent of the workforce in Connecticut, which means nearly half of our workers may be experiencing discrimination when it comes to earning a fair paycheck. This is an issue that deserves our attention because closing the pay gap and raising women’s wages will certainly improve the quality of life for many of our citizens that work hard every day to ensure economic security for their families.”