Women who hold the highest-paid jobs in their companies earn less than their male counterparts at other firms, according to research by Bloomberg News.
Of the five best-paid executives at Standard & Poor’s 500 companies, 8% are women, Bloomberg found. They earn 18% less than similarly situated men, an average of $5.3 million per year. That’s despite comparable levels of education and experience.
One theory that could explain the disparity: Even women with the greatest potential for business success start out earning less than men do, and they never catch up no matter how far they advance.
America’s highest-paid female executive is Oracle Corp. CFO Safra Catz, who earns $51.7 million annually.