Women CEOs pay just half of their male peers

Written by Reuters | New York | Updated: Oct 28 2009, 05:44am hrs
Female chief executives earned just 58% of what their male counterparts did in 2008, and their compensation packages were slashed three times as much as their male peers, according to a survey released on Tuesday.

Corporate governance research firm the Corporate Library said total realised compensation which includes base salary, bonuses, perquisites, benefits, and the value realized on the exercise of options and vesting of other equity fell by a median of 18.5% in 2008 for female CEOs.

In the same period, the compensation of male CEOs fell 6.1%, the survey revealed.

Top female chief executives median base salary was $40,000 higher than that for male CEOs, but mens discretionary bonuses were more than 3.5 times larger than those given to females, and mens perquisite payments were nearly twice the amount received by women, the survey said. Female CEOs earned on average 58% of what males earned in realized compensation, the Corporate Library said.

United Therapeutics Corps Martine Rothblatt was the only female CEO among the top 150 earners of 2008, with total compensation worth $21.8 million.

Among female CEOs, Rothblatt was followed by Avon Products Incs Andrea Jung, with $13.9 million in total realised compensation, and TJX Companies Incs Carol Meyrowitz, with $12.8 million.

The survey was based on compensation data of 2,703 US listed companies.

Women CEOs accounted for only 3% of the total, the Corporate Library wrote in the report.