A handful of ultra-successful female executives in the corporate world now make more than their male colleagues, according to new research, though it comes with a major caveat. The eight female CEOs at the 100 largest companies in the country earned, on average, $22.7 million last year, while the average male CEO earned $14.9 million, according to data from the analytics firm Equilar. That $8 million pay gap, however, is a bit misleading, according to forthcoming research in Academy of Management Journal, which claims that the reason the women’s average is so much higher than the men’s average is because there are so few female executives that they command higher-than-average pay, known as a “diversity premium.” The premium applies to “a very small subset of women,” according to New York University management professor Lisa Leslie, who coauthored the study.
“There’s a market for high-potential women. If you want them in senior ranks, you’ll have to pay them more,” she said.
How rare are female chief executives? According to a separate study, women lead only 23 of the S&P 500 companies. Companies that value diversity more, including those that make consumer goods, pay higher salaries for female executives, according to the research. Still, many women beneath the top level of high-performing female executives are still making less than male colleagues for the same work, they found. Some of the highest-earning CEOs on the list included Safra Catz of Oracle, Meg Whitman of Hewlett-Packard and Indra Nooyi of Pepsico, among others.
Read the full story at The Huffington Post.