Are Female Top Managers Really Paid Less?

56 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2014 Last revised: 26 Sep 2014

See all articles by Philipp Geiler

Philipp Geiler

EMLYON Business School

Luc Renneboog

Tilburg University - Department of Finance; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC)

Date Written: June 1, 2014


While we find no pay gap for the figure-head (CEO), there is significant pay discrimination for other female top managers who are board members as they earn £1.3 million less over a five-year period. We also show that the gender pay gap is lower for executives in firms with female non-executives. Female executives in ‘male’ industries face a smaller pay gap. The advice of top remuneration consultants does not reduce the pay gap for executive directors (excluding the CEO). We also find that the pay gap increases when accounting for marriage and parenthood.

Keywords: executive compensation, gender pay gap, gender discrimination, pay-forperformance, glass ceiling, children and female career

JEL Classification: J31, J33, M52, G30

Suggested Citation

Geiler, Philipp and Renneboog, Luc, Are Female Top Managers Really Paid Less? (June 1, 2014). European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) - Finance Working Paper No. 403/2014, Available at SSRN: or

Philipp Geiler (Contact Author)

EMLYON Business School ( email )

23 Avenue Guy de Collongue
Ecully, 69132

Luc Renneboog

Tilburg University - Department of Finance ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Warandelaan 2
5000 LE Tilburg
+13 31 466 8210 (Phone)
+13 31 466 2875 (Fax)

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels

Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC)

Warandelaan 2
Tilburg, 5000 LE

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