Total Executive Compensation Rises, But Gender Gap Still Persists in 2014

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By Michael Greene

Dec. 3 — Total compensation rose last year for most executives, but a gap in pay between male and female executives persists, according to a Dec. 3 report by the Association of Executive Search Consultants.

Of those surveyed, almost half of the chief executive officers (43 percent) and 56 percent of other C-level executives received base salary increases. Additionally, director-level executives (69 percent) also experienced salary increases.

CEO Pay Bump

The report noted that CEOs earned significantly more than the rest of the C-suite. Almost half (45.6 percent) of the CEOs surveyed earned base salaries of $251,000-400,000 in the 2014 fiscal year, whereas, “other C-level executives’ salaries were in a slightly lower range, with 64.7% earning $151-300K.”

Typically, executives across all levels received modest increases between 1 and 5 percent. However, a significant number of CEOs (24.3 percent) and other C-level executives (18 percent) received much larger increases of 16 percent or higher.

Gender Pay Gap

In the 2014 fiscal year, the average male base salary was $233,000, while the average female base salary was $223,000.

“[T]he percentage of male and female executives with base salaries ranging between $151-250K remained relatively even, but began to diverge in the higher base salary brackets above $250K,” the report noted.

According to the report, this indicates that “one of the main causes for this pay gap appears to be lower representation of executive women in C-level positions.”

Additionally, “there was about a $21K difference between the average male and female bonus.” The report concluded that fewer women represented in C-level positions was the driving factor for this pay gap as well.

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Jo White recently called for companies and shareholders to do more to increase the participation of women in boardrooms (12 CARE 1159, 9/19/14).

The 2014 AESC “BlueSteps Executive Compensation” survey was conducted in November and December, compiling 907 responses from senior-level executives in various industries across the world.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Greene in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ryan Tuck at

The report is available for download at


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