As employees of a woman-led personal finance company, we spend a lot of time discussing the gender pay gap. We also get pretty excited about signs that it might be starting to close. So, when the Wall Street Journal's 2017 report Top to Bottom: Pay for 500 CEOs was released this week, we were eager to see what it had to say about America's female chiefs.
Here are the findings, which analyzed data from S&P 500 firms:
Female CEOs out-earned their male counterparts in 2016. Twenty-one female CEOs received a median compensation package of $13.8 million, while the median for 382 male CEOs was only $11.6 million.
Plus, they've earned more for six of the past seven years. The gap, however, has narrowed since 2014.
Three of the ten highest-paid execs are women.This is a first in the report's 28-year history. The boss ladies topping the list are Meg Whitman at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Virginia “Ginni” Rometty at International Business Machines Corp. IBM and Indra Nooyi at PepsiCo Inc.
Still, only 5% of S&P 500 companies have a woman in their top leadership position. At 28, the total number of women at the helms of these firms remained unchanged from the previous year.So why are women getting paid so much if it's still so hard for them to make it into the C-suite? According to the WSJ, the trend mirrors the recent strong performance of women-run companies, as well as the fact that many female CEOs are leading the charge on difficult turnarounds and are rewarded accordingly.
Executive pay and leadership specialists also note that, because so few women make it into the corner office, those that do are more likely to be "superstars." Given the visibility of the pay gap, company boards tend to be more willing to shell out the big bucks for an exceedingly high performer who also helps promote office diversity.
So if you too are a female superstar, make sure you're getting paid what you're worth.