In an article that jumps to conclusions more than any I have seen recently, Bloomberg News is reporting that the glass ceiling has been shattered. The proof? The top 16 female CEOs are raking in salaries that average out to be 43 percent higher than the male CEOs. Also, female CEOs got a 19 percent raise in 2008 while dudes got a 5 percent pay cut. Some examples: Yahoo! CEO Carol Bartz is making over $47 million and Irene Rosenfeld of Kraft Foods is raking in $26.3 million. The article quoted a male CEO, who said, “When you see numbers like this, one can truly say that the glass ceiling in corporate America has been shattered,” and implied that women are being over-compensated so companies don’t get hit with sexism charges.
In my opinion, Bloomberg needs to slow it down. So the top of the top earners in America who are women happen to be earning a little more than men. What does that tell us? Nothing. This business about women getting higher pay while men are getting pay cuts is likely BS. Since women were, and still are, making less than men I think it’s safe to say that the cuts for men and increases for women simply narrow the pay gap. When the Department of Labor surveyed 1.1 million female CEOs in 2009, they found that women make only about 75 percent of what men do.
Another problem is, this article doesn’t look at women and men on lower rungs of the ladder. Down here, in the real world, there are many stats that say women are still making less than men and show that there are fewer women in power positions. When huge companies like Yahoo! put a woman at the top, it’s likely because she’s earned it, but that doesn’t mean we should believe the rhetoric that the glass ceiling has been shattered. There is still a lot of work to be done. Just because a woman is running the show at one company doesn’t mean females everywhere are being treated equally.
Articles like this are bad for feminism because they make non-analytical peeps say, “Whew, sexism is over.” Some of the dudes in the article criticized Bartz for making so darn much and the writer even went so far as to list women CEOs who are being “overpaid.” Excuse me, but what about men?!?! No one criticized those big shots on Wall St. for their huge paychecks when, whoops, the economy went south, and now everyone’s up in arms. And it’s funny, because when you read the news, the CEOs of major investment firms that got us into this mess are all men. Just because women are getting a shot at the positions that men easily attained for years and actually getting paid for their work doesn’t mean the glass ceiling has been shattered. It simply means we’ve made a little progress.