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How The 10 Highest-Paid Women CEOs Compare To Their Male Counterparts

Where to begin?

How The 10 Highest-Paid Women CEOs Compare To Their Male Counterparts
[Photos: Flickr users TechCrunch, JeffBedford,Yoon S. Byun/The Boston Globe via Getty Images, drserg via Shutterstock]

This week, the Associated Press published a list of the 10 highest-paid chief executives in America, followed by a ranking of the 10 top-paid women CEOs. Unsurprisingly, the first list is all men, with the exception of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, who took the No. 5 spot on that list and the No. 1 spot on the female CEOs list.

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These rankings typically don’t mean much to the average person–yep, they’re all making a gazillion dollars more than the rest us–but comparing the two yields a few insights into the state of gender and leadership in the U.S.

1. The top two highest-paid male CEOs make more than all the top-paid female CEOs combined.
David Zaslav, the top executive at Discovery Communications, made $156.1 million in 2014. Leslie Moonves, the CEO of CBS, made $54.4 million. Combined, that’s about $210 million. The 10 women on the AP’s list, whose salaries ranged from $13.1 million (DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman) to $42.1 million (Mayer), made about $204 million altogether.

2. The last CEO on the overall list would take the No. 2 spot on the female CEO list.
Jeffrey Bewkes, CEO of Time Warner, is the 10th highest-paid CEO, with a 2014 salary of $32.7 million. That would put him well ahead of the second highest-paid woman CEO in America, Carol Meyrowitz, who made $23.3 million last year as head of TJX, the parent company of T.J. Maxx and Marshalls.

Actually, those two bullet points pretty much sum up what you need to know. One interesting aside, however: The AP and executive compensation data firm Equilar found that, overall, women CEOs make more than male CEOs. In 2014, the median pay for women CEOs rose 21%, to $15.9 million, while median pay for male CEOs dropped 0.8%, to $10.4 million. The discrepancy in the two top 10 lists comes from the fact that, among the largest companies, male CEOs by far outnumber women leaders. Of the 340 U.S. CEOs in the AP and Equilar study, only 17 were women.

Here are the two lists in full:

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The Top 10 Highest-Paid CEOs in America, Male and Female

  1. David Zaslav, Discovery Communications, $156.1 million
  2. Leslie Moonves, CBS, $54.4 million
  3. Philippe Dauman, Viacom, $44.3 million
  4. Robert Iger, Walt Disney, $43.7 million
  5. Marissa Mayer, Yahoo, $42.1 million
  6. Leonard Schleifer, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, $42 million
  7. Marc Benioff, Salesforce.com $39.9 million
  8. Jeffrey Leiden, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, $36.6 million
  9. Brian Roberts, Comcast, $33 million
  10. Jeffrey Bewkes, Time Warner, $32.7 million

The Top 10 Highest-Paid Female CEOs In America

  1. Marissa Mayer, Yahoo, $42.1 million
  2. Carol Meyrowitz, TJX Companies, $23.3 million
  3. Margaret Whitman, Hewlett-Packard, $19.6 million
  4. Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo, $19.1 million
  5. Phebe Novakovic, General Dynamics, $19 million
  6. Virginia Rometty, IBM, $17.9 million
  7. Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin, $17.9 million
  8. Patricia Woertz, Archer Daniels Midland, $16.3 million
  9. Irene Rosenfeld, Mondelez International, $15.9 million
  10. Ellen Kullman, DuPont, $13.1 million