A new analysis of salaries of chief financial officers at large companies finds that female CFOs, of whom there were only 150 out of more than 1,900, earned an average of $1.32 million in total compensation. That is a whole lot of money—top 1 percent by any measure. But it's substantially less than the $1.54 million that male CFOs took home.
The firm [that conducted the analysis] said its model accurately predicted a CFO’s gender. The lower the salary, the more likely the CFO would be female.The report accounts for many, though not all, factors other than gender that might account for the widespread differences. One key factor that is accounted for is chief executive officer pay—it's not that women are more likely to be CFOs at companies that pay all their executives less.
“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, which will be released as soon as tomorrow.
It's hard to work up a whole lot of personal sympathy for the individual women earning just $1.32 million. But the fact that women at the very top of their elite profession are paid an average of $215,000 a year less than their male counterparts shows how pervasive sexism and gender inequality are in our society. If these women, with all the resources and power they command, aren't getting fair treatment, what chance does the average payroll clerk have?