Women are out-earning men in corporate finance

Women may be badly outnumbered in the top ranks of corporate America, but at least they aren't underpaid.

Compensation for female chief financial officers 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.

See Full Article

It follows a similar trend seen with female CEOs in recent years.

The median pay for female CFOs last year rose nearly 11 per cent to $3.32 million. Male CFO pay rose 7 per cent, to $3.3 million. This follows several years of steady gains for both sexes.

The gains, for both men and women, are in part a result of the expansion of the CFO role to include far more responsibility and visibility.

"The CFO is no longer a bean counter," said Josh Crist, managing director at executive search firm Crist Kolder Associates.

Companies and shareholders became more focused on financial security and regulation after the financial crisis, and corporate finance began to play a bigger role in company strategy, according to Gregg Passin, a compensation expert at consulting firm Mercer.

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, CatherineLesjak of Hewlett-Packard at $8 million, Sharon McCollam at Best Buy at $7 million and Robin Washington of Gilead Sciences at $6.2 million. This ranking reflects only the companies where the CFOs who have served two consecutive years in their particular position.

To calculate pay, Equilar adds salary, bonus, perks, stock awards, stock option awards and other pay components. To determine what stock and option awards are worth, Equilar uses the value of an award on the day it is granted, as shown in a company's proxy statement.

The high median pay for female CFOs is partly a result of sample size -- there were only 60 female CFOs at the S&P 500 companies that qualified for inclusion in the study during the last fiscal year, compared with 437 men, according to Equilar.

It is also a factor in female CEO pay. 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. Crist said that he expects more women to take on CFO duties in years ahead but the pay range will broaden as more women join smaller companies.

He notes that women have historically been underrepresented in finance overall. That is changing, and helping fuel this shift at the top. Younger women are getting better opportunities at entry levels and these lead to better opportunities down the line.

A Crist Kolder study found that the percentage of female CEOs and CFOs has hit an all-time in 2015. Of the 672 Fortune 500 and S&P 500 companies evaluated, nearly 5 per cent had female CEOs and 13 per cent had female CFOs.

"It's a heck of a trend," he said. "It has been predominantly white male centric forever."



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Italian PM 'guarantees' savers' accounts in 2 troubled banks

    Economic CTV News
    ROME -- Italy's premier says holders of accounts in two troubled Italian banks will have their savings guaranteed despite insolvency proceedings. Premier Paolo Gentiloni was referring to Veneto Banca and Banca Popolare di Vicenza, each struggling with unpaid loans. Source
  • Forget the poop scooping: who will pay the bills for your pet?

    Economic CBC News
    The scene is so common, it's cliché: Your adorable child looks longingly into your eyes, begging for a pet. You somehow navigate the emotionally fraught minefield of cat vs. dog. Then it's time to talk chores. Source
  • 'Eventually, many will run out': How an LCBO strike could impact restaurants and bars

    Economic CBC News
    A long drawn-out strike by liquor store workers could have a significant impact on Ontario's restaurants, wine importers, bars and consumers — but it may offer a boon to some local wineries. "Eventually, many [restaurants and bars] will run out, if not all, if it goes into a month, two months," said Tony Elenis, president and CEO of the Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association. Source
  • Ivanka Trump ordered to testify in dispute with shoe company

    Economic CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Ivanka Trump must testify in a dispute with an Italian shoemaker over one of her company's shoe designs, a judge said Friday. U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest rejected a request by the senior White House aide's lawyers that she be blocked from submitting to a deposition in the trademark infringement lawsuit brought by Aquazzura Italia SRL against her and her company IT Collection LLC. Source
  • Cooling measures already affecting hot Toronto housing market: survey

    Economic CTV News
    The recent intervention by the Ontario government to cool the Toronto-area’s hot housing market is already having an impact on sellers and buyers plans for the year, according to a new poll. At the end of April, Ont. Source
  • Why is the American teen summer job disappearing? [Video]

    Economic Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — It was at Oregon’s Timberline Lodge, later known as a setting in the horror movie “The Shining,” where Patrick Doyle earned his first real paycheque. He was a busboy. The job didn’t pay much. But Doyle quickly learned lessons that served him for years as he rose to become the CEO of Domino’s, the pizza delivery giant: Source
  • Waiting for a Canadian housing crash? Warren Buffet bets against it buying 38% stake in Home Capital Group Inc.

    Economic Toronto Sun
    Warren Buffett's deal to back Home Capital Group Inc. does more than support a struggling mortgage lender -- it's a vote of confidence for a housing market that everyone from investors to global ratings companies say is a bubble ready to burst. Source
  • CIBC looks to generate quarter of earnings from U.S.

    Economic CBC News
    CIBC closed its acquisition of Chicago-based PrivateBancorp on Friday, securing its foothold in the U.S. where CEO Victor Dodig said the bank hopes to one day generate a quarter of its earnings. The Canadian bank now earns roughly five per cent of its profits in the U.S. Source
  • CIBC closes acquisition of U.S.-based PrivateBancorp

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- CIBC closed its acquisition of Chicago-based PrivateBancorp on Friday, securing its foothold in the U.S. where CEO Victor Dodig said the bank hopes to one day generate a quarter of its earnings. The Canadian bank (TSX:CM) now earns roughly five per cent of its profits in the U.S. Source
  • Consumer demand for debt as high as it has ever been, Equifax says

    Economic CBC News
    Canadians' appetite for debt is as insatiable as ever, a new report from credit monitoring firm Equifax says. Equifax calculates that Canadian consumers owed $1.729 trillion at the end of the first quarter, an increase of 6.9 per cent in a year. Source