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Marketplace Morning Report

New salary survey still finds few women in CEO ranks

Dan Gorenstein May 25, 2016
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Yahoo president and CEO Marissa Mayer speaks during the Fortune Global Forum on November 3, 2015 in San Francisco, California.
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Overall,  CEOs on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index earned a median $10.8 million — 4.5 percent more than last year’s median rate, and an increase more than double the rate of inflation. That’s according to a new survey released Wednesday from the Associated Press.

The survey also found female executives earned a median income of nearly $18 million, compared to $10.5 million for men.

It sounds like progress for women, but it’s not.

Of the 324 CEOs surveyed, just 17 are women.

“When you only have a basket of only 17 people, a couple of CEOs getting a big raise can skew that number,” said AP Business Editor Lisa Gibbs.

While three women in the survey made more than $20 million last year, overall there is little change.

For the last decade, the number of female CEOs on the S&P 500 has hovered around 15 to 20.

“I feel like the rate of change really should be picking up now,” said Heidi Hartmann, the head of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. “We have a lot more experience with women on boards, a lot more women able to go into that position.”

Hartmann said we would  see more women at the top tomorrow if political and civic leaders start clamoring for it today. Perhaps more important, Hartmann said if all women had equal pay, the poverty rate among working women would be cut in half.

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