Of the top 20 highest paid CEOs, just five were women, according to a recent ranking by pay consultant Equilar. Of course, female chief executives remain the exception in Corporate America: Just 24 women run Fortune 500 companies.
"A substantial amount of research out there shows that women are more likely to pursue promotion opportunities and try to advance themselves in their careers when they have more female role models," said Jessica Milli, study director at the Institute for Women's Policy Research. "When you have a female CEO at your company, you have a role model that you can ask for advice ... they're more likely to have had similar struggles that you're facing in your career."
So who made the list of highest paid women CEOs? Here they are:
1. Safra Catz, Oracle: $40.7 million
is the highest-paid female CEO, Equilar found. And she landed in the overall top 5 highest paid CEOs at No. 4. (No. 3 overall was her co-CEO at Oracle, Mark Hurd, whose pay came in about $100,000 above Catz's.)
Catz, who avoids the limelight that her outspoken boss Larry Ellison enjoys, joined Oracle (ORCL) in 1999. According to Wharton Magazine, Catz "drove" Oracle's successful 2005 hostile takeover of PeopleSoft. The $10.6 billion deal made Oracle No. 2 in the business-management software market behind Germany's SAP.
Catz, an immigrant from Israel, was named co-president in 2004 and became chief financial officer two years later, positions she continues to hold. Ellison, named Catz and Hurd co-chief executive officers in 2014.
According to media reports, Catz was considered by the Trump administration as a replacement for National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, a job that went to John Bolton.
2. Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo: $25.9 million
Another immigrant, PepsiCo CEOranked second in Equilar's female CEO rankings.
Under her leadership, Pepsi has worked to lessen its dependence on carbonated beverages as theirrates have reached multidecade lows.
3. Phebe Novakovic, General Dynamics: $21.2 million
General Dynamics' Phebe Novakovic joined the company in 2001 after stints working for the federal government, including the CIA, Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Defense.
4. Lynn J. Good, Duke Energy: $21.1 million
She became Duke CEO in 2013 after serving as the chief financial officer and leading the company's commercial energy business.
5. Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin: $20.2 million
She assumed her present job in 2013 after the executive who was in line for it, Christopher Kubasik, was fired for having an affair with a subordinate.
Lockheed produces the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and Sikorsky helicopters among other things.
Mary Barra of General Motors (GM) wasn't counted because the automaker hasn't filed its proxy statement yet detailing her 2017 pay, according to Equilar.
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