The Surprising Thing About C.E.O. Pay (Hint: It Has to Do With Women)

The Surprising Thing About C.E.O. Pay (Hint: It Has to Do With Women)

The gender pay gap has stayed pretty stubborn over the last few years.

But there is some positive pay parity news to report—at least when it comes to one subset of the workforce.

A new analysis by USA TODAY reveals that women C.E.O.s now actually outearn their male peers.

That's right: female execs earned $18.8 million, on average, in their companies' last fiscal years—far surpassing the $12.7 million average for men.

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To crunch the numbers, the study compiled compensation stats from 21 out of the 22 current women C.E.O.s in the S&P 500. Yahoo leader Marissa Mayer snagged the top spot on the list, hauling home a hefty $42 million paycheck—thanks, in part, to a whopping 69% raise she scored last year.

So what explains women's higher compensation in the C-suite?

While this particular analysis doesn't go into the specifics, one thing to consider is that because C.E.O. salary is publicly available, companies might be less likely to underpay out of fear of public backlash.

Still, while this is welcome news to the women who've made it to the top of the corporate ladder, most stats still put the overall wage gap at around 78 cents to the dollar.

And the fact that there are still just 22 female C.E.O.s in the S&P 500—compared to 455 men—shows there's still much progress to be made for women in the workplace.

RELATED: Beat Wage Discrimination: How Women Can Get Paid as Much as Male Colleagues

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