Female CEOs see pay rise, but numbers remain small


For the second year in a row, female CEOs earned more than their male counterparts and received bigger raises.

But only a small sliver of the largest companies are run by women, and experts say gender parity at the top remains way off.

The median pay for a female CEO was nearly $18 million last year, up about 13 percent from 2014. By comparison, male CEOs' median pay was $10.5 million, up just 3 percent from a year earlier, according to an analysis by executive compensation data firm Equilar and The Associated Press.

A pay hike doesn't tell the full story, though.

The jump is largely due to the small sample size: only 17 of the 341 CEOs analyzed by Equilar and the AP were women. That means any one CEO's compensation – Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's nearly $36 million package, for example, or Mary Dillon's 200 percent raise at Ulta – can skew the results.

Of the 10 highest-paid CEOs on the list, only one was a woman: Yahoo's Marissa Mayer, whose own position is in jeopardy amid questions about the company's future.

The next highest-paid woman was Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo Inc., who earned $22.2 million. General Dynamics CEO Phebe Novakovic came in third at $20.4 million.The lowest-paid female CEO on the list was Lauralee Martin of HCP, a health care real estate investment trust, whose pay package was valued at $800,000.

Women led companies in a variety of industries including technology, defense and aerospace and retail.

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