STAMFORD, Conn. — The Women’s Business Development Council has unveiled expanded Stamford office space for its financial clinics.
“We now have a beautiful space to hold our programs,” Dorothy Bratchell, chief operating officer, said during a ceremony Wednesday. She said the larger space will help continue current programs and allow for their expansion.
Before, the council held seminars and meetings at libraries and other locations. Now it will be able to host events at its office and utilize all council resources. The clinics help clients with both personal and business finances.
Marian Cicolello, vice president of Programs & Services, said the expanded space will be used for such things as classes for women business owners, who are often single parents who have never studied finance.
It will also be available for businesses and other organizations to use, she said.
The council was able to lease the extra space, and also make six additional hires, thanks to a $100,000 matching grant and a $239,000 loan through the state’s Small Business Express Program.
Gov. Dannel Malloy attended the ceremony and announced a new state study to look for ways to address gender pay discrimination. He said he hopes to have solutions by the start of next legislative session at the latest.
According to a study by the Institute of Women’s Policy Research, women on average make only 81 percent as much as their male counterparts, and in Connecticut that figure is 75.8 percent. The governor said only 40 percent of the difference is due to discrimination.
“The disparity in Connecticut is unacceptably high, and while this is a complicated issue, that cannot be an excuse for inaction. It’s time for our state to find ways to address gender wage disparity,” Malloy said in a release.