- For the first time, a woman executive took the top spot on the list of the highest paid CEOs based on the Associated Press' (AP) annual survey of CEO compensation, announced May 27. Lisa Su is the CEO and president of Advanced Micro Devices, an American multinational semiconductor company based in Santa Clara County, California. Su earned the highest salary among CEOs in the S&P 500 index for 2019, according to the list released by AP and Equilar, an executive data firm.
- Su's 2019 pay package had a value of $58.5 million "following a strong performance for the company's stock during her five years as CEO," according to AP. The median or midpoint for CEO pay in 2019 was $12.3 million, Equilar calculated.
- Equilar reviewed regulatory details of pay packages for 329 executives at companies in the S&P 500 that filed proxy statements with federal regulators between Jan. 1 and April 30, according to AP. The CEOs reviewed have been in place for at least two years.
Transparent pay policies can neutralize the gender pay gap between men and women holding the same position across most jobs, according to research.
A PayScale, Inc. report released Jan. 22 found that even when comparing men and women who had the same position in the workplace in the same geographic location — when compensable factors are controlled — women earned 98 cents for every dollar earned by men. For organizations that did not practice pay transparency, the most outstanding gender wage gap was for women in the director level ($0.91).
Research by WorldatWork and Mercer published in February found that although more than half (67%) of organizations surveyed said pay transparency is increasingly important, just 14% of organizations have addressed pay transparency beyond a "moderate" level. Some states, such as California and New York, do have pay transparency laws. Additionally most employees nationwide are legally protected to discuss their salaries. Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 prohibits employers from retaliating against workers when they discuss their wages.
As companies work toward gender pay equity, those who have achieved it in certain areas plan to move the needle even further. Mastercard announced in March that it achieved gender pay equity among male and female employees at the same level who perform the same roles, but seeks "parity across all measures." The same month, Lululemon announced 100% gender pay equity across 20,000 employees. The company said it first achieved gender pay equity in 2018, according to reports from Retail Dive, HR Dive's sister publication.