Among S&P 500 companies, as at smaller public companies, there are few women CEOs. Those that do hold the top job at the largest companies get paid better than their male peers, however.
NEW YORK — Women CEOs earned big bucks last year, but there’s still very few of them running the world’s largest companies.
The median pay for a female CEO was $13.1 million last year, up 9 percent from 2015, according to an analysis of S&P 500 companies by executive data firm Equilar and The Associated Press. By comparison, male CEOs earned $11.4 million, also up 9 percent.
But the number of women in CEO roles has barely budged. Just 6 percent of the top-paid CEOs in the U.S. last year were women, according to the Equilar and AP analysis, a slight increase from about 5 percent in 2015 and 2014.
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The highest-paid woman was Virginia Rometty of IBM, bumping out Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer from the top spot.
Rometty earned $32.3 million last year from the technology company, a 63 percent jump from the year before, mainly due to $12.1 million in stock-option awards she didn’t receive in 2015.
Mayer earned $27.4 million last year, making her the second-highest-paid woman. But she was out of a job after Yahoo completed the sale of its websites and email services to Verizon Communications in June. (She walked away from Yahoo with a compensation package worth about $125 million, including her severance pay and stock awards that fully vested with the deal’s completion.)
Third on the list was Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo, the maker of Mountain Dew and Lay’s potato chips. She earned $25.2 million, up 13 percent from 2015. She was followed by Mary Barra, the CEO of automaker General Motors, who earned $22.4 million.
To calculate pay, Equilar added salary, bonus, perks, stock awards, stock-option awards and other types of compensation. Equilar only looked at companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index that filed proxy statements with federal regulators between Jan. 1 and May 1, 2017. And it only included CEOs that have been in their roles for at least two years in order to exclude sign-on bonuses. Of the 346 CEOs in that group, just 21 were women.
The only black woman on the list, Xerox’s Ursula Burns, left the CEO role in January after the document-management company split in two. Burns, who earned $13.1 million as CEO last year, retired as chairman of the Xerox board in May.
Gracia Martore, who earned $8.5 million last year, announced her retirement in May as CEO of Tegna, the TV station owner and operator. Her replacement is a man.
Experts say companies need to do more to get women into CEO roles.
Janice Ellig, the co-CEO of executive search firm Chadick Ellig, says “unconscious bias” in the workplace is keeping women from getting opportunities that will put them on track for top roles.
Companies need to “start recognizing that gender inequality exists,” say Ellig, who is also chairwoman of the Women’s Forum of New York.
“If you don’t recognize a problem, you can’t solve a problem,” she says.
|The nation’s highest paid women CEOs|
|Company||Pay||Change from last year|
|1. Virginia Rometty||IBM||$32.3 million||Up 63 percent|
|2. Marissa Mayer||Yahoo||$27.4 million||Down 24 percent|
|3. Indra Nooyi||PepsiCo||$25.2 million||Up 13 percent|
|4. Mary Barra||General Motors||$22.4 million||Down 22 percent|
|5. Phebe Novakovic||General Dynamics||$21.2 million||Up 4 percent|
|Sources: The Associated Press, Equilar|