Only White, Male CEOs Make The Big Bucks


In The Guardian’s new list of America’s top-paid CEOs, all are white and male. Mark Zuckerberg, creator and CEO of Facebook, tops the list with a base salary of $503,205, $1.2 million in perks, and $2.3 billion in profits from the company’s recent IPO.

A big part of the lack in diversity on the list is the lack of diversity among executives overall. Women hold few of the top jobs at major companies. There are now 22 at the helm of Fortune 500 companies with Lynn Good’s appointment as CEO of Duke Energy in July, which means less than 5 percent of those positions are filled by women.

Top executives are also not racially diverse. Among Fortune 500 CEOs, six are black, making up just 1.2 percent. There are eight Latino and eight Asian CEOs, accounting for just 1.6 percent each.

But even when they reach the highest rungs, women are still paid less than their peers. They make up just 8 percent of the top earners at Fortune 500 companies. They are similarly 8 percent of the top five compensated executives at S&P 500 companies, or only 198 total. Not a single company has more than three women among the best paid execs. In fact, there is just as wide a gender gap at the top as elsewhere: Women who among the highest paid executives at S&P 500 companies are paid 18 percent less than their male peers.

That wage gap starts early in women’s careers and grows over time. Women who get business degrees and have the same experience as men end up with lower level jobs right out of school and are paid thousands less. Those same men are then twice as likely to end up being named CEO than the women. Women in corporate America report that they still face gender-specific discrimination. Nearly 90 percent of female board directors say they have had to overcome obstacles related to their gender. Yet far fewer men see the same problems.