CEO pay: Few women crack the glass ceiling

July 19, 2011

On July 10th there was a front page article titled "CEO pay on the rise," and top CEOs of Maryland publically traded companies were pictured. Surprisingly, the article and subsequent editorials missed a glaring omission: all 19 of the highly paid CEOs are men. Where are the women?

Network 2000 has done extensive research on women in the C-Suite and we have to ask, how is it possible that of the 86 publically traded companies in Maryland only two have women CEOs when:

•Women make up 46.7 percent of the U.S. labor force;

•Women earn more bachelor's and doctorate degrees than men and more than twice the amount of master's degrees than men;

•Seventy-five percent of all new businesses being opened are being opened by women; and,

•Women account for 85 percent of all buying decisions?

The question resonates even more in light of the steps taken in various countries around the world to assure parity for women in corporate leadership. Most recently, Malaysia joined other countries including France, Norway, Spain, Belgium and Germany that have passed legislation mandating the percentage of women in publicly held companies in the executive suite and boardroom.

I would like to suggest that The Baltimore Sun do a follow up article focused on what Maryland companies are doing to increase the number of women in their executive ranks and boardrooms. There is no reason why Maryland can't be proud to say that by 2015 there will be at least five women on the list of top paid CEOs.

Ellen R. Fish, Baltimore

The writer is president of Network 2000, Inc., a non-profit dedicated to increasing the number of women in professional and management positions.

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