Battling Patriarchy with Grace: 7 Highest Paid Women CEOs

In our evolved social systems we routinely witness women’s subordination to men, be it in areas of politics or in the corporate world. This subordination is a learnt social construct that has been in place for hundreds of years. What is the root cause of this system? The answer is simple; Patriarchy.

What is Patriarchy?

Patriarchy is a system of society in which only the male gender holds primary power and decision making authority. This idea stems from Judo-Christian beliefs, along with encouragement from classic Greek beliefs, that women are imperfect as compared to men. 

These old beliefs from the past have entrenched into our daily affairs. This has resulted in a situation where men can easily control and limit the extent of opportunities and rights accessible by women. Some of these include women’s control over their bodies, their personal affairs such as property & inheritance, how they dress and much more.

Over the course of time many groups and individuals have voiced their concerns and have protested against patriarchy. Women have chosen to form organized systematic movements such as those on feminism to fight the unjust supremacy of men. 

Some men also recognize the consequences of patriarchy and have lent their voice in explaining how patriarchy has several disadvantages for the male gender as well. There is a set notion that men are supposed to be strong and for that very reason they should not be emotional or be seen shedding tears. Over time ‘chauvinism’ and ‘sexism’ has also been used in the same meaning as patriarchy.

One of the most effective ways to fight off patriarchy has been by taking control of economic and corporate freedom by women. These women have committed to climbing the career ladder with amazing success and thus, have managed to break the glass ceilings placed before them. 

This has helped the women population as a whole. Women in senior positions in the corporate world have forced men to view them as their equals. Long gone are the days when women in corporations were only offered secretarial roles, serving the CEOs. Today, people are witnessing women steering corporate giants like Oracle and IBM. 

According to the latest reports, women CEOs are increasing in number year after year, and they are earning more than men on the list.

Among the top ten paid CEO’s of the world women account for 4 out of 10. Let’s take a look at the top 7 highest paid women CEOs:

  1. Oracle’s Safra A. Catz tops the list with a compensation package of $40.9 million. She has been with Oracle since 1999, and has worked her way up the corporate ladder since then. 
  2. Margaret C. Whitman, CEO of HP (Hewlett Packard Enterprise) who takes home a hefty $32.9 million.  She is the Chairwoman and President of HP Inc. 
  3. Virginia M. Rometty comes in third with a compensation package of $32.3 million. She is known as Ginny amongst her colleagues and friends.
  4. Next in line is Indra K. Nooyi of PepsiCo. Her compensation is $25.1 million. She graduated from an Ivy League University, Yale. 
  5. At $21.2, we have Phebe N. Novakovic of General Dynamics.
  6. Marillyn A. Hewson of Lockheed has a compensation of $19.4 million.
  7. At number seven we see Irene B. Rosenfeld of Mondelez International, who earns up to $15.8 million

All these women are testament to battling patriarchy with grace. According to a recent study, companies render successful women more valuable than successful men. Although, in reality there are only a handful of women that serve as examples from the study, but there has been a shift in attitudes about women in the workplace. This means that the environment of the corporate sector is now more welcoming to women. With more gender diversity in the workplace there will be a thrust of equal access to opportunities and equal participation.

One can only hope that strong movement in the corporate sector creates a ripple effect that results in reducing the effects of patriarchy in other areas of life as well.

It would be wonderful to see women accomplish social roles, cultural traditions, family decision making and more importantly have the ability to spend their lives as they wish. Letting women be equal to men will not only benefit women, but in fact men will benefit too.

Ahfeeyah ThomasComment