Compensation for female Chief Financial Officers (CFO’s) at S&P 500 companies last year outpaced that of their male counterparts, according to an analysis by executive compensation firm Equilar and the Associated Press. It follows a similar trend seen with female CEOs in recent years.
The median pay for female CFOs last year rose nearly 11% to $3.32 million. Male CFO pay rose 7%, to $3.3 million. This follows several years of steady gains for both sexes.
Ruth Porat became one of the most powerful women on Wall Street while helping steer Morgan Stanley, one of the nation’s biggest investment banks, through the aftermath of the financial crisis. She topped the list of highest paid female CFOs with her $14.4 million pay package from Morgan Stanley for the 2014 fiscal year.
Google has since lured her away and will pay her more than $70 million for her first year as CFO there. Investors have warmly welcomed her arrival at Google, where she is expected to bring some financial discipline to what some consider their free-spending ways.
The increased responsibility and visibility has helped some women CFOs rise even further, to CEO. Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo and Lynn Good, CEO of Duke Energy are both former CFOs.
“It’s a unique position that has the ability to contribute to day-to-day operations but also on long-term strategic planning,” Good said. She called the CFO position “a critical training ground” for aspiring CEOs.
The other top-paid female CFOs, after Porat, include Marianne Lake of JPMorgan Chase, whose compensation package is valued at $9.1 million, Catherine Lesjak of Hewlett-Packard at $8 million, Sharon McCollam at Best Buy at $7 million and Robin Washington of Gilead Sciences at $6.2 million.
Median CEO pay for women was $15.9 million last year, according to an analysis done earlier this year by Equilar and the AP, compared with $10.4 million for male CEOs. There were just 17 female CEOs, however.
The small group of women in these important roles tended to be focused at the largest companies, where pay is higher.
As the opportunities, and pay, increase for women in the world of finance they are providing more competition for jobs against men. If you fancy being part of the female revolution in finance then check out our Business courses straight away, and set off towards earning that first million!