Female CFOs in U.S. paid less than men, survey finds
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Male chief financial officers at U.S. companies are paid an
average of 16 percent more than their female counterparts of similar age at
companies with comparable market values, according to a new study by GMI
Ratings, a corporate governance consulting firm.
Approximately 150 of the CFOs at the 1,900 Russell 3000 Index
companies with a market value of $100 million to $25 billion that were
studied in 2010 were women. The women received on average $1.32 million a year
in total compensation, compared with $1.54 million for their male counterparts,
according to the analysis. Compensation included base salary, bonuses,
grant-date value of stock awards and stock option grants, and retirement
The lower the salary, the more likely the CFO would be female, according
to the model built for the analysis. "It’s a pretty strong argument that men
and women are not being treated the same,” said Tom White, director of
quantitative research for GMI and co-author of the report.
White and co-author Kimberly Gladman, director of research and risk analytics,
built the analysis model to test whether women are paid less than men because
of factors like age or experience at a company, or simply because they are female. Although female CFOs tended to be younger than their male counterparts, there
was virtually no difference in their average tenure at a company, GMI Ratings
found. The women on average served on a greater number of boards.
"We tried to turn the question around a little bit,” White said.
"We thought: If men and women are truly being paid the same, then their
compensation won’t have any predictive value on their gender --
it should be irrelevant.”
the model, White and Gladman found that even after accounting for other
factors that might affect CFO pay, including market capitalization and chief
executive officer pay levels, the average female CFO would earn about $215,000
more if she were male.