HARTFORD, CT — It’s not perfect, but a study of Connecticut’s executive branch found that 51.7% of the top “officials and administrators” in the state are female.
That’s higher than the 44% of full-time female employees in the same category in other states.
However, when looking at each agency there are disparities. There are more women in the departments of Children and Families, Public Health, and Social Services than there are men, and there are fewer women in the departments of Transportation, Correction, and within the Connecticut State Police.
And while Connecticut seems to achieve parity when it comes to gender, it’s not true when it comes to race. The data shows that both minority men and minority women earn less than white men and women.
The study conducted on behalf of the Governor’s Council on Women and Girls found minority men earn $10,000 less than the average white male, and female and minority women earn almost $8,000 less than the average white female.
There’s also a gap in pay when you compare the top five male-dominated agencies to the top five female-dominated agencies.
The highest-earning employees are Asian males and females followed by white females, white males, black females, Hispanic females, black males, and Hispanic males.
“This analysis is an exercise that every employer in our state, and across the country, should be doing — looking inward to ensure that our workforces reflect our people and our values,” Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz said. “This analysis will give our executive branch agencies essential insight when evaluating strategic action plans to address any income or representation gaps where they may exist.”
She said they want to look “inward and address those inequities.”
Staff in state Comptroller Kevin Lembo’s office helped put together the analysis with Mohamad G. Alkadry, professor and head of the University of Connecticut’s Department of Public Policy.
The data used for the study goes back to March and does not provide a diagnosis for the reasons behind the disparities.
“The council will take this document and look at each agency on its own,” Lembo said. “This wasn’t meant to be prescriptive but rather to be a scan and a baseline for further study.”
He said they need to determine if employee classifications are contributing to some of the disparities and each agency needs to review the analysis and conduct their own self-assessment.
Lembo’s communications director, Tara Downes, helped put together the report. She said when it comes to the issue of gender pay parity, it fluctuates from agency to agency and from union code to union code.
“It varies across the type of occupation and the level that you’re at,” Downes said. “That’s why you can’t really just look at the big picture.”
Bysiewicz said the report shows trends they already knew about such as the need to recruit more women to become state troopers.
Women account for about 9.3% of the 920 or so sworn personnel in the department.
Bysiewicz said other agencies like the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection know that 25% of their workforce will retire in the next four or five years and they want to recruit more women with science and engineering backgrounds for those jobs.
“I think our commissioners are already on some of this,” Bysiewicz said. “But the council will be working together to address issues of pay equity.”