Gender differences in executive compensation: Variation with board gender composition and time
This paper uses EXECUCOMP, COMPUSTAT and Investor's Responsibility Resource Center data to examine gender differences in executive salaries and total compensation from 1996 to 2004. We find that the salaries of female executives are about 5 percent lower than those of male executives, controlling for executive, firm, and board characteristics, and that the gap exists primarily in the lower officer ranks, where women are relatively highly concentrated. The gender difference in salary is larger in firms with more male-dominated boards; perhaps not coincidentally, such firms are also found to have fewer female executives in top managerial positions as well as lower probabilities of having any top female executives at all. The results of Oaxaca wage decompositions suggest that, although the magnitude of the gender difference decreases slightly over the sample period, the share of the gender difference that is due to unobserved factors remains basically steady or even increases. Thus, although women have become better represented in top executive jobs in recent decades, their relative salaries remain below those of men, possibly due in part to governance structures that remain male-dominated.
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