Cornell University

Institute for Compensation Studies™

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News

November 20 2013

ICS contributes to Connecticut Gender Wage Gap Task Force

On November 19, 2013, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy released the recommendations of his Gender Wage Gap Task Force. The Institute for Compensation Studies provided expertise to the Task Force and was cited repeatedly throughout the report.

The Gender Wage Gap Task Force was commissioned by Governor Dannel Malloy to provide recommendations on how to reduce Connecticut's gender wage gap of approximately 22% for women employed full time. The Task Force was headed by Connecticut's Labor Department and Department of Economic and Community Development, with Commissioner Sharon Palmer and Commissioner Catherine Smith, respectively, actively participating. The Task Force findings and recommendations are detailed in "The Gender Wage Gap in Connecticut: Findings and Recommendations."

The Task Force report highlights, among other challenges, an underrepresentation of females studying STEM fields, the inadequate retention of women in STEM occupations, and research showing that women have a lower starting salary than men graduating with the same degree. The report also points to professional stagnation experienced by women in all industries including those in which they make up the majority of the workforce.

Two key areas of focus in the Task Force recommendations are increasing women in STEM occupations and increasing transparency surrounding the gender pay gap. In particular, the task force recommends addressing these issues identified by rebranding programs in technical colleges and high schools and improving coordination between related programs designed to increase women and minorities in non-traditional occupations, encouraging higher education institutions to offer programs on negotiation and other skills to help new graduates understand and leverage their market value, and providing incentives to companies to be more transparent on the gender neutrality of their pay systems.

Linda Barrington, Institute for Compensation Studies executive director, and Elise Mordos, Institute for Compensation Studies research analyst, presented ICS's report, "Considering the Gender Pay Gap," to the Task Force on July 25, 2013. Barrington discussed the difference between the raw gender wage gap and the adjusted gender wage gap, which takes account of various contributing factors to pay differences such as occupation, work experience and education. She highlighted areas where females can improve their economic status in the workforce by studying STEM fields in larger numbers and pointed to the role more transparent pay systems could play in reducing the pay gap. Specifically, Barrington suggested encouraging companies to self-audit and evaluate pay gaps internally, as well as the value that increasing awareness of existing gender pay gaps can have in using market forces, rather than policy solutions, to drive change.

Download The Gender Wage Gap in Connecticut: Findings and Recommendations

Download slides of the Institute for Compensation Studies July 25, 2013 presentation

For more on the Connecticut Gender Wage Gap Task Force, see http://www.governor.ct.gov/malloy/cwp/view.asp?A=4010&Q=535358

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Compensation and HR executives, don't miss ICS' Executive Seminar, Achieving Equitable Compensation in Shifting Landscapes, April 2-3, 2014.