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October 25, 2021

Female VPs earn 55% of what their male peers do

You may have seen the recent WSJ article on the gender pay gap. The article focuses on how companies must change to achieve gender equity. It’s a great article, and I highly recommend it. What stood out to me was this:

  • Female directors are paid 71% of their male counterparts
  • Female VPs are paid 55% of their male counterparts
  • On average, women are paid 82% of their male counterparts

This supports what I’ve been seeing with my own clients: the more senior the woman, the bigger the pay increase she’s achieved. In the past year, I’ve seen 60%, 64% and 74% increases, all from VPs, SVPs and C-suite executives.

Now I know why – it’s because these senior women are underpaid the most.

If you go down the research rabbit hole, which I did so that you don’t have to, you discover that the difference in base pay is more narrow – 8% – but that it’s all the other things like bonuses, shares, options, equity, etc. that drives this enormous gulf between what male and female senior leaders make. (PS. For more details on the gender pay in stock options, check out this fantastic article; for our comprehensive list of the 50+ things you can negotiate click here).

What can you do to avoid this trap?

Kray and Lee’s research shows that team size is correlated to pay. That is, the larger your team, the more you make. So when you go into a negotiation, consider discussing team size.

The other thing to do is learn how to negotiate specifically as a woman. These same researchers show that women are now negotiating more than men but are successful only half as often. This means we are now in phase two of gender & negotiations – helping women negotiate more effectively. Luckily, we’re here for you.



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