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Female CEOs Are Paid Well, but There's a Catch

They run just 19 of 340 companies analyzed for AP
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 28, 2019 7:15 AM CDT
Five of the highest-paid female CEOs for 2018, according to the AP and Equilar. From left: Mary Barra, GM, $21.9 million; Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin, $21.5 million; Phebe Novakovic, General Dynamics,...   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – The few women who are CEOs of the largest US companies typically make more money than their male counterparts but aren't close to the top of the leaderboard for pay packages. The median pay package for female CEOs in the 2018 fiscal year was $12.7 million, compared with $11.2 million for men, according to data analyzed by Equilar for the AP. That reflects a raise of $680,000 for the same group of female CEOs from a year before, versus a raise of $540,000 for the men. Still, of the 340 companies included in the analysis, only 19 were run by women. Plus, there is not a single woman on the overall list of the top 20 most highly paid CEOs. The top earner there—Discovery CEO David Zaslav—earned a pay package worth almost six times that of the most highly paid female CEO—Mary Barra of General Motors. She ranks 30th on the list overall.

Barra tops the list of female CEOs with a pay package valued at nearly $21.9 million. Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson came in second with a compensation valued at $21.5 million, up 7% from the prior year. And General Dynamics CEO Phebe Novakovic rounded out the top three with a compensation package worth $20.7 million. The AP's CEO compensation study, conducted by Equilar, includes pay data for 340 executives at S&P 500 companies who have served at least two full consecutive fiscal years at their respective companies and filed proxy statements during the traditional period of Jan. 1 to April 30. While women enter US companies at roughly the same rate as men, experts say their ranks grow thinner at each step up the corporate ladder due to unconscious bias, lack of mentorship, people hiring in their own image, and more.

(Read more CEOs stories.)

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