Female CFOs Earning More Than Male Counterparts

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The average working man's wage growth continues to surpass that of the average woman, but the opposite is the case among some corporate executives.

The average working man’s wage growth continues to surpass that of the average woman, but the opposite is the case among some executives.

Compensation for female chief financial officers at companies that are publicly traded on the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock market index outpaced that of their male counterparts last year.

According to an analysis of 2014 salaries by executive compensation firm Equilar and the Associated Press, female CFOs’ pay grew by nearly 11 percent, reaching $3.32 million, while male CFOs’ pay grew by 7 percent, reaching $3.3 million.

During the 2014 fiscal year, the top-paid female CFO was Ruth Porat, who was then with Morgan Stanley. She earned a $14.4 million pay package from the investment bank. Porat has since joined Google, which the AP reports will pay her more than $70 million for her first year there.

After Porat, the top-paid female CFOs last year were Marianne Lake of JPMorgan Chase (whose compensation package was valued at $9.1 million) and Catherine Lesjak of Hewlett-Packard ($8 million).

Equilar’s calculation of pay includes salary, bonus, perks, stock awards and other forms of compensation.

Male CFOs still significantly outnumber their female counterparts, however.

An analysis released earlier this year by Fortune and S&P Capital IQ found that nearly 90 percent of CFOs are men.

Naomi Sutherland, a senior partner in the diversity and inclusion practice at Los Angeles-based executive recruiter Korn Ferry, told Fortune:

“It’s very frustrating to see the needle move so slowly after so many years.

“Consciously or subconsciously, companies are still hesitant to take the risk on someone who looks different from their standard leadership profile. And when the candidate looks different and acts differently than the people around you who have been successful, it may feel like a risk to go with the woman.”

What’s your take on the rising pay or low numbers of female chief financial officers? Share your thoughts below or on Facebook.

Stacy Johnson

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