Look for more disclosures from large companies regarding the “gender pay gap,” typically defined as the company-wide median pay for women compared to the median for men. While not a regulatory requirement like it is in the U.K., large U.S. based companies are being pushed by activist investors to disclose their pay gaps.
The gender pay gap for CFOs, controllers, and other senior-level financial executives continues to widen and it is not the result of women not having the correct qualifications, but rather those with qualifications not rising into the executive ranks.
“I think anytime you're focused on what I would call a senior level executive position, CFO, CEO, head of a functional department or division president of a group, you're just naturally going to see fewer women in the calculation versus men within an organization,” says Melissa Means, managing director with compensation consultant Pearl Meyer in Boston.
“I do think we're at a time when we're seeing a shift or what I might call an evolution,” Means adds. “An acknowledgement that it makes more sense to have a more diverse-looking leadership team, and that includes women and folks of color and of different races and of different backgrounds. It doesn't just stop with women. But it takes time to change that. I don't think it's a pipeline issue. It's not that there aren't enough women with financial backgrounds out there who wouldn't be excellent CFOs. It's not that.”