- Women in CHRO roles at companies in the Equilar 500 — the information services firm's list of the 500 largest companies trading on major U.S. stock exchanges — both outnumber and outearn their male counterparts, Equilar said Oct. 12.
- The firm found that the share of women in CHRO roles among Equilar 500 companies was 75% in 2021, up from 59% in 2020 and 42% in 2017. CHRO is the only major C-suite role in which women hold the majority of positions, Equilar said.
- Median pay for women in lead HR roles was $3 million, per the report, whereas men earned a median pay of $1.6 million. Equilar found that HR executive compensation at companies with more than $50 billion in revenue was more than double that of companies in the lowest revenue range, while the communication services industry had the highest total pay for CHRO executives among industries recorded.
The findings are perhaps unsurprising given past research; a 2019 report by HR platform Namely found that women represented 67% of the HR workforce, although the same report also found male HR managers earned more than their female counterparts by an annual average difference of 13%.
That same year, Human Resource Executive reported that the highest-earning CHROs had annual salaries in excess of $10 million, with Apple's Deirdre O'Brien taking the top spot.
CHROs have been important players in organization strategy during the past year, particularly in forming diversity, equity and inclusion strategy as well as charting workplace responses to the pandemic. The events of the past year even necessitated HR executives tackling challenges that fell outside of HR, such as reputation management and the logistical challenges associated with remote work.
Some observers also posit that the CHRO role could form a pathway to CEO in the future, given the correlation between talent and business performance.