What will women in business look like in the next decade?

BusinessFibre has analysed the top 10 companies across 15 different industries in the Fortune 500 to find which are leading the way in gender equality. In addition, the data highlights what industries pay their CEOs the most and how salaries compare between men and women.

Across the world, women continue to make their mark in businesses, with fights for equality taking place across all industries. From technology to healthcare, across different sectors, many male leaders continue to be paid more than women, with some of the biggest wage gaps seen in the top tier positions.

But which companies and what industries promote women in business more than others, and what are the salary differences between male and female CEOs in each sector?

Take a look at the table below to find out the average male and female CEO salary across every industry as well as female representation in this top tier role. 


Only six out of 15 industries have female CEOs in their top 10 companies, with sectors such as energy and telecommunications not featuring any women in the position of CEO.

The transportation industry shows a particularly wide gender wage gap with the average male CEO being paid a staggering 45 times more than female leaders in the same industry, with a gap of almost $13m. 

In other industries, however, women in leadership roles are paid on average more than men, for example in aerospace & defence, where women earn an average salary of $21,118,433.50 compared to men who earn an average salary of $4,085,743.31. The motor vehicles & parts sector also sees women CEOs paid on average more than men in these top companies, with women earning an average salary of $21,870,450 and men earning $5,841,781.

The research also looked into the companies promoting women in business, by listing the names of the highest-paid female CEOs in different industries. 

Below are the top five, highest-paid female CEOs, the companies they work for, and their annual salaries:

  1. Mary Barra, General Motors: $21,870,450
  2. Marylin Hewson, Lockheed Martin: $21,516,613
  3. Phebe Novakovic, General Dynamics: $20,720,254
  4. Gail Boudreaux, Anthem: $14,184,276
  5. Corie Barry, Best Buy: $5,919,680

Mary Barra, General Motors’ CEO is the highest-paid female leader, followed by Marylin Hewson; while Martina Merz, CEO of ThyssenKrupp, is the lowest-paid female CEO of the companies analysed with an annual salary of $160,000. 

Mary Barra is also the highest-paid CEO in the top 10 companies in Motor Vehicles & Parts, earning around $21,870,450 per year, which is $4,117,715 more than what the highest-paid male CEO in the same industry earns (James Hackett, CEO of Ford Motor with $17,752,835 a year)

What will women in business look like in the next decade?

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