Comparing Men and Women CEOs

Women fill more positions on their way to the top job.

How do the top women executives compare to their male counterparts? In a March 2017 study, recruitment firm Talentful found only 54 female executives in the list of Fortune 1,000 companies—but that was three more than there were in 2014. Talentful compared those 54 women to an equivalent number of men on the same list to discover similarities and differences in their paths to leadership.

The company found that men bring home more money, receiving an average of US$4,438,366 more than women in total compensation. However, while Disney CEO Robert Iger is the most highly paid executive at $43,490,567, Safra Catz of Oracle is right behind him at $40,943,812, and the next two slots are also held by women.

Education makes a difference: 21 of the male CEOs in the comparison group had earned MBAs, compared to 25 of the women. Engineering degrees often lead to success, as ten women and 13 men on the list held degrees in engineering fields. Seventeen of the men and eight of the women were Ivy League graduates.

Women tend to hold more jobs on their way up the ladder—11, compared to nine for men. But CEOs of both sexes achieved their positions at the average age of 51.

To see an infographic of the complete results, visit