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March 09, 2010
Female CEOs' Compensation Fell More than Male CEOs' During Recession

Female chief executive offers saw bigger declines in their compensation than their male counterparts did during the economic turmoil, according to a study by the Corporate Library, a research firm.

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The corporate Library found that total realized compensation for female CEOs declined by a median of 18.5 percent between 2007 and 2008, compared with only 6.1 percent for male CEOs. Realized compensation includes the value realized on the exercise of options and vesting of other equity.

“Comparisons between male and female pay can be complicated,” said Research Associate Greg Ruel, author of the report. “Though the female sample is much smaller than the male sample, there are nonetheless notable differences in the way male and female CEOs are compensated.”

Additional findings from the survey include:

  • On average, female CEOs earned just 58 percent of what males earned in realized compensation (78 percent at the median).
  • On average, male CEOs' discretionary bonuses were more than 3.5 times larger than female CEOs, and males' perquisite payments were nearly twice the amount received by females.
  • At the median, female CEOs earned $40,000 more in base salary than male CEOs.
  • Martine A. Rothblatt of United Therapeutics Corporation was the only female CEO among the top 150 earners of 2008 in total realized compensation.

More information on the “The Corporate Library's Female CEO Pay Survey 2009,” is available at the firm's website.

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