"Reverse Pay Gap?" Female CEOs Make More Than Male Peers

The latest blow to the mainstream media’s misleading narrative about the relationship between gender and compensation has been delivered by the Wall Street Journal’s annual report on CEO pay, which revealed that - country to popular perception - female CEOs of S&P 500 companies actually earn more than their male peers.

In what WSJ described as “an unusual reversal of the gender pay gap,” the paper found that last year, 21 female CEOs of S&P 500 companies received a median compensation package of $13.8 million, compared with $11.6 million for 382 male chief executives.

Contrary to popular belief, women who make it to the top rung on the corporate ladder likely find that their gender – if it has any impact at all – likely works in their favor because, as the WSJ delicately suggests, corporate boards don’t want to risk a PR disaster by underpaying a female chief executive.

Or as Robin Ferracone, head of Farient Advisors LLC, puts it: “Boards don’t want to shortchange their female CEO in today’s environment, when pay equality is such an issue.”

Female CEOs also benefit from the perception that “these women must be exceptional” because so few reach the corner office, Heidi Hartman, president of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, told WSJ.

Male executives still outnumber their female peers by a considerable margin, but WSJ found that female CEOs made more money than male execs during six of the last seven years. What’s more, for the first time in history, three female CEOs rank among the top 10 highest paid corporate execs. They are Meg Whitman at Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co., Virginia “Ginni” Rometty at International Business Machines Corp. and Indra Nooyi at PepsiCo Inc.

Women-led companies also posted higher returns, on average, than male-led firms. As WSJ reports, S&P 500 businesses now run by women generated a median total shareholder return of 18.4% in 2016, compared with 15.7% for those commanded by men. Returns at female-led firms outpaced returns at male-run companies in three of the previous five years.

Of course compensation still varies widely based on the firm’s performance: At HP Enterprise, which posted a total return of 55% last year, CEO Meg Whitman earned $35.6 million during the year ended Oct. 31 – more than twice what she earned a year earlier when she was running the combined Hewlett-Packard Co.

Though, as WSJ noted, Whitman’s latest package included a special equity grant tied to the debut of HP Enterprise. Aside from such one-time items, “Meg’s target compensation has remained unchanged over the past three years,’’ a company spokeswoman said, describing part of her package.

Mylan NV had the lowest one-year return among women-led companies at minus 29%, and longtime CEO Heather Bresch’s compensation fell to $13.8 million down from $18.9 million the previous year.

To be sure, not all female CEOs are immune to criticism about bloated pay packages: IBM CEO Ginni Rometty earned $32.7 million last year, up from $19.8 million a year earlier, while her company saw revenue decline for the 20th straight quarter.
Her 2016 package included 1.5 million stock options, which she can’t fully exercise unless IBM’s stock price increases as much as 25%, according to the company’s proxy, but she can hold on to those options for 10 years.
About 46% of votes cast at this spring’s annual meeting opposed the company’s executive pay practices, which represents a record level of IBM investor opposition for a “say-on-pay” vote.


BLOTTO H H Henry P P … Thu, 06/01/2017 - 21:58 Permalink

No real man would want to be a daycare worker anyway...but that's beside the point.
Men were meant to til the soil and work like an asshole while women gave birth and raised children. Whats a more important job than raising children?
Women can not have power and love...you need to sacrifice one over the other. And of course tptb know this, they are fucking up our beautiful women.

In reply to by H H Henry P P …

subversion techpriest Thu, 06/01/2017 - 23:12 Permalink

I spent over a decade working in the education system. You want to know who the bullies and abusers are? The teachers.They belittle any student with a different ideology and fail them at an alarming rate (especially if they are boys).They learn nothing of the real world to prepare them for life and all their creativity is destroyed. They become obedient, mindless liberal drones.

In reply to by techpriest

slimycorporate… Nobodys Home Thu, 06/01/2017 - 23:22 Permalink

Ask most young women today.. they would rather have cats/dogs than kids. There minds have been corrupted beyond return. MUST CONSUME. MUST CONSUME. They do not pick a mate based on anything other than social status, aka, how much shit will this fucking idiot buy me before I move onto the next one?Raising a healthy, happy family is NOT a priority. But you know what is? Travelling the world and buying "cool" brand name shit. God, what the fuck.

In reply to by Nobodys Home

Creative_Destruct slimycorporate… Fri, 06/02/2017 - 06:48 Permalink

Yep. Conspicuous consumption is THE focus of the young, particularly the females. Sad. And it's epitomized by the female executive.Female CEOS, to quote the "great(ly stupid)" Latrell Spreewell:"Sure NBA Players (women execs)make a lot of money, but we (they) spend a lot too."Gotta travel the world and stock up that closet with the finest in shoes and clothes. Imelda Marcos can't out do them or their status will fall.

In reply to by slimycorporate…

nmewn Thu, 06/01/2017 - 21:34 Permalink

So ladies, there ya go.If you can look a shareholder or customer straight in the eye and make them believe that you really do have their best interests at heart, you too can be one of the few, the proud, the overpaid for strictly PR purposes, a real commanding officer.Now, how does that make you feelz? ;-)

land_of_the_few nmewn Fri, 06/02/2017 - 03:23 Permalink

They're still not fucking worth it, even if they get a T&A bonus. It is the ass-end of Western Civilisation,. Camille Paglia has it right.All those "resources" can fuck each other up the butt with strapons, and, probably do.Why in the fuck do they think they are 800% more worth it than company bosses in the 1970s, for example, that's an approximation with inflation taken into account.Just pure greed, incompetence and ignorance. Worthless know-nothing wreckers.I mean bearing in mind that education is probably much worse now, to say nothing of actual *achievement*, at least those in the '70s had some kind of shame for fucking up, they didn't encourage *actively rewarding them* for it like they do now.

In reply to by nmewn

adr Thu, 06/01/2017 - 21:38 Permalink

How many of these women actually grew the corporations they helmed? They get paid a lot because they get to be the bagholders for corporate disintegration. 

DontWorry Thu, 06/01/2017 - 21:38 Permalink

While the gender pay gap has largely been debunked - women get paid less because they make career choices that result in lower pay - there is a proven gender on the job fatality gap:  93% of workplace fatalaties are men.  Why are we subjecting men to such hazerdous conditions that they are dying at 20X the rate of women on the job?

Dollar_Store_C… Thu, 06/01/2017 - 21:43 Permalink

White vs. black, men vs. women, native vs. immigrant....will somebody let me know when we are done seperating ourselves into warring little groups and comparing everything. FFS. I can't even watch a game of thrones episode without being overwhelmed with girlpower horseshit designed to make me feel guilty and shame for being born with a white penis.

Fundies Thu, 06/01/2017 - 21:54 Permalink

We now have a new 50:50 male female recruiting ratio for firefighters in Fire Rescue New South Wales. We currently have about 10% ( if that ) female applicants...90% or so male. So out of 10000 or so applicants each intake for maybe 100 positions......well you get the picture. Reverse discrimination alive and well here. It was suggested by a feminist group over here recently that women be given unlimited full pay " period leave ".....that's right, I'm talking menstrual pain and inconvenience. The world is going fucking nuts.

junkyard dog Thu, 06/01/2017 - 21:56 Permalink

How sweet, it only took 21 females to shatter the glass ceiling. If you are a white male, over 59 years old, I would like for you to go into your bathroom, look your old tired ass in the face, and then ask yourself, how did my generation fuck this whole thing up and, how are you going to fix it.

land_of_the_few junkyard dog Fri, 06/02/2017 - 03:36 Permalink

Pretty sure the 21 aren't going to fix jack. They're just at the trough for their turn, trotters and snouts shoved as deep in as their little hind legs can manage before anyone from shareholder meetings can wash them out.But there again they will never know what fixing means, since they are not paid to do so and wouldn't understand anyway what is a problem and what is a solution - requires critical thinking skills. Which PRs don't generally have.And I wouldn't be so quick to blame the older white guys for this sh1t, they don't own it and they would probably tell you to keep it. And you are being more than naive calling them tired - they may be older but at least they are not worn-out 24yo overweight baristas with Communication degrees.

In reply to by junkyard dog

barysenter Thu, 06/01/2017 - 23:07 Permalink

I am greatly enjoying watching your Down is up, up is Down fantasy world collapsing. With not a nudge, hand, contribution, gift, donation, kick, slap or punch from moi, not even a hard word so much to the point that failing to egg me on, you intentionally misconstrue the slightest act you think you can get away with lying about into a thought crime and, and then, when you get caught lying, lie that you perceived it as such, and that's all that matters.

Gorge Carlin RIP