You may think the highest paid woman executive is Yahoo head Marissa Mayer or PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, but you would be mistaken, says Forbes. Not that these women don’t generate a sizable income; both are currently on the top 10 list of highest-paid female executives, according to research firm FindTheBest’s rankings. But neither leads the pack. Interestingly enough, the woman who does is not even a CEO.

Safra Catz, CFO and president, Oracle Safra Catz, CFO and president, Oracle

At the top of the wage-earning pyramid is Safra Catz, CFO and president of Silicon Valley software firm Oracle. Last year she racked up $44.3 million in total compensation, says FindTheBest and placed number 24 on the Forbes 2014 Power Women List. According to FindtheBest, Catz’s 2013 compensation, which actually dropped 14.3% from the previous year, consisted of:

  • A $950,000 salary.
  • $42,620,500 in option awards.
  • $717,232 in non-equity incentive plan compensation.
  • $20,105 in other compensation.

Yet, as Forbes notes, even with Catz making more money than any other CFO, be they male or female, there remains a dearth of women whose salaries are commensurate with that of their male counterparts. For example, “of the five best-paid executives at each of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index companies in 2012, only eight percent were women.”

The financial news site further illustrates the wage discrepancies between male and female executives by invoking a Bloomberg study that reveals that these “high-achievers on average earned 18 percent less than men.”

Catz has been CFO of Oracle since April 2011, notes the bio on the company website. However, this is not her first stint serving as the firm’s CFO. Previously, she served as CFO of the tech company from November 2005 to September 2008.

Source: The Highest-Paid Woman in Corporate America is a CFO

Photo: Wharton Alumni Magazine

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