Female CFOs In S&P 500 Companies Earning More Than Male Counterparts And They Aren’t Stopping There

Female Chief Financial Officers, CFOs, began earning more than their male counterparts in 2014 according to a new study by executive compensation firm Equilar. The study notes that though women are badly outnumbered in S&P companies in high-ranking positions, that hasn’t stopped the women who make it to the top from pulling in more cash than their male peers. In fact, analysis of the 2014 year shows the female CFOs in S&P 500 companies earned more than males in the same position. Women’s pay increased 11 percent as the men’s pay packages increased by a more modest 7 percent. As a result, the female CFOs earned an average $3.32 million in compensation while the male CFO average was $3 million. In addition to earning overall higher pay, female CFOs are going even further by using the position to move even further up the ladder to the coveted CEO title.

The AP reports that in 2014 female Chief Financial Officers earned more on average than male CFOs in S&P 500 companies. The report notes that female CEO pay is following the same trend, and in corporate America women are finally seeing a pay structure that is on par, and in some cases even better, than their male peers.

Robin Washington Gilead Robin Washington of Gilead Sciences earns 6.2 million as CFO of the biotech company. [Image via LinkedIn]In 2014, Equilar and the AP report that female CFOs earned an average of $3.32 million while male CFOs earned an average $3.3 million. This compensation included “salary, bonus, perks, stock awards, stock option awards and other components.” Meanwhile, the female CEO pay average was 15.9 million last year, compared with $10.4 million for male CEOs. However, male CEOs and CFOs still significantly outnumber females with only 60 female CFOs in the S&P 500 compared to the 437 men. The CEO situation is no better with only 17 female CEOs in place. You may note that there seems to be three people missing from the evaluation as only 497 CFOs were included in the study, this is due to the fact that Equilar and the AP only looked at CFOs who had been on the job for two years or more years. Therefore, three of the CFOs were not evaluated as they did not meet the required amount of time on the job for inclusion.

Indra Nooyi Indra Nooyi, now the CEO of PepsiCo, got her start as a CFO. [Image via AP]Though women are outstripping men in the CFO pay department, both men and women working as CFOs in S&P 500 companies are seeing jumps in pay. Women saw an 11 percent increase in pay between 2013 and 2014 while men averaged a 7 percent increase in pay. The increase in CFO pay structure stems from the fact that the CFO is now more visible due to the financial crisis that left many companies relying on their financial officers for more direction. This also resulted in the CFO becoming more of a figurehead for the company when presented to the world at large. With increased responsibility has come increased pay for both sexes.

Josh Crist, managing director at executive search firm Crist Kolder Associates, notes that the Chief Financial Officer is no longer just a “bean counter” but rather a gateway to CEO. In fact, Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo, and Lynn Good, CEO of Duke Energy, are both former CFOs. Goode credits her position as CFO for helping prepare her for her future CEO position and says it is the perfect “training ground” for any CEO.

“It’s a unique position that has the ability to contribute to day-to-day operations but also on long-term strategic planning [and is] a critical training ground [for aspiring CEOs].”

Ruth Porat Ruth Porat is the highest paid female CFO in the S&P 500. [Photo by Chip Somodevilla/ Getty Images]Who is the top paid female CFO? Ruth Porat is officially the highest paid female CFO and considered the most powerful woman on Wall Street. Porat is the CFO of Morgan Stanley, one of the nation’s biggest investment banks, and helped steer them after the financial crisis. Porat is so highly respected in the community that powerhouse Google lured her away from Morgan Stanley with a pay deal worth $70 million. With Porat’s $70 million pay plan as CFO at Google, the 2015 numbers for women in the industry will certainly increase.

[Photo by Chip Somodevilla/ Getty Images]