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

  • CRTC tells dissatisfied TV customers to 'demand better' and shop around

    Economic CBC News
    The CRTC wants Canadians to know that they "have choices" when it comes to their TV services. And if they don't like their current TV plan, they should "demand better" and shop around. To assist consumers, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has posted a series of shopping tips on its website. Source
  • Car recalls and real estate secrets: CBC's Marketplace consumer cheat sheet

    Economic CBC News
    Recalled cars on road Are you about to buy a lemon? Millions of vehicles on Canadian roads have an outstanding safety recall, about one in six. Even worse, there's nothing stopping dealerships from selling a car with an open recall that hasn't been fixed. Source
  • OPEC persuades 11 non-members to cut production in attempt to drain oil glut

    Economic CBC News
    OPEC has persuaded 11 non-members to cut oil production, a move aimed at draining a worldwide oil glut and boosting low prices that have squeezed government finances in Russia and Saudi Arabia. Officials said Saturday that non-members agreed to cut 558,000 barrels per day for six months starting Jan. Source
  • Howard Buffett stepping down from Coca-Cola board

    Economic CTV News
    OMAHA, Neb. -- Howard Buffett is planning to step down from the Coca-Cola Co.'s board, so he can spend more time running his foundation that focuses on improving agriculture in the developing world. Howard Buffett, who is billionaire investor Warren Buffett's oldest son, has served on Coke's board since 2010. Source
  • Socks and bonds: Edmonton pals conquer wacky dress sock market

    Economic CTV News
    Two childhood best friends from Edmonton are cashing in on the funky dress sock craze that seems to be sweeping the often bland world of professional menswear. Popular outlandish designs with names like aqua moustaches, surfing sloth, and mint flamingo party have seen Good Luck Sock grow its sales nearly four-fold and double the number of retailers that carry the company’s far-out footwear over the past year. Source
  • Trump's 'Buy American' policy could have major implications for Canada

    Economic CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump has made it clear he wants Buy American rules in the massive infrastructure program he's planning, launching an ardent defence of domestic-purchase requirements that can cause tensions with other countries. Critics of such Buy American provisions say they not only freeze out foreign competition, but hurt Americans too, by driving up the cost of construction, which means taxpayers get fewer roads and bridges for their buck and fewer construction jobs in the long…
  • Ontario steelmaker Stelco seeks court OK for moving ahead with restructuring

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- Southern Ontario steelmaker Stelco is seeking court approval to move forward with its restructuring following an agreement with Bedrock Industries. Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa said in a statement Friday that Bedrock's proposal would mean that operations at the Hamilton and Lake Erie facilities would continue and 2,100 jobs would be preserved. Source
  • Cuba, Google strike deal to hike internet speed: sources

    Economic CTV News
    HAVANA -- Google and the Cuban government have struck a deal giving Cubans faster access to the internet giant's content, two people familiar with the agreement said Friday. Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google's parent company, will formally sign the deal Monday morning in Havana, the two people said. Source
  • Ford CEO says Trump threats won't change small car plans

    Economic CTV News
    DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. is going ahead with plans to move small-car production from the U.S. to Mexico despite President-elect Donald Trump's recent threats to impose tariffs on companies that move work abroad. CEO Mark Fields said Ford's plan to move production of the Ford Focus from Michigan to Mexico will proceed, in part because U.S. Source
  • Major New York markets hit second consecutive day of record highs

    Economic CBC News
    Major New York stock indexes hit a second consecutive day of record highs while the Toronto stock market continued its six-day rise, continuing a post-U.S. election rally. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average recorded its third consecutive record-breaking day, advancing 142.04 points to 19,756.85. Source