It’s great to be CEO of a top Washington Lobbyist group. If you’re a man, that is. A new Bloomberg analysis found that female CEOs at the top 30 K Street firms earn $1 million less than men in the same position. Ridiculous!
The female CEOs took home an average $1.43 million in 2010, compared with $2.48 million paid to the other 26 executives — 57 cents for every dollar earned by a man. The four women in the group of 30 top trade associations that spent the most on lobby spending during the Obama administration — Karen Ignagni at America’s Health Insurance Plans, Susan Neely at the American Beverage Association, Denise Bode at the American Wind Energy Associationand Pamela Bailey at the Grocery Manufacturers Association — earned an average of $729,495 in base salary, compared with the $1.07 million earned by men on the list.
“It’s still shocking every time you’re reminded of the incredible lack of pay equity between men and women and this is just one more indication that it transcends every sector,” said Chellie Pingree, a Democratic representative from Maine and the former CEO of Common Cause, a nonprofit organization that lobbies for campaign finance reform. “I think women at the top think, ‘Oh my goodness, I’m making a million dollars, I have nothing to complain about,’ but then they realize that the next guy’s getting two million,” Pingree said. “I think that’s a psychology that happens with women.”
Women at the top of the field in Washington are even worse off than their corporate counterparts. GMI’s most recent Female CEO Pay Survey examined salary data from 2,704 publicly traded corporations and found that on average, female CEOs earned 80% of what male CEOs made in annual earnings. In the general population, women earned about 72 cents to every dollar earned by men in 2010, according to the U.S. Census. The small number of women in the survey and the level of their average pay shows that “there’s discrimination that is real and has not disappeared,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Chicago-based employment consultant company Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. “There is still a glass ceiling that makes it difficult to change the number of women who reach the top job in any meaningful way.”