5 Highest Compensated Women CEOs: Mary Barra, Lisa Su And More

In 1963, Marion Sandler made history by becoming the first female CEO of a major U.S. company, Golden West Financial. She was named co-CEO with her husband Herbert and would hold that title for 43 years.

That same year, Katharine Graham became president at The Washington Post and later became CEO in 1972. Graham's father, Eugene Mayer, was the publisher before giving the reins to her husband, Philip, who died by suicide in 1963.

Since then, the number of female executives has spiked into the hundreds. Though the percentage is still low, 11% of all Fortune 500 companies are led by women.

In honor of Women's History Month, here are the highest compensated female CEOs at Fortune 500 companies.

Lisa Su - Advanced MicroDevices AMD
In her early career, Su worked at IBM and Texas Instruments. She was known for her work developing silicon-on-insulator semiconductor manufacturing technologies and more efficient semiconductor chips. In 2020, Su made $27.1 million in total compensation.

Mary Barra - General Motors GM
The first female CEO at the "Big Three" Detroit auto manufacturers, she climbed through the ranks beginning with a parts inspector role at GM, in 1980. Barra earned $23.2 million in total compensation in 2020.

Kathy Warden - Northrop Grumman Corporation NOC

Before becoming CEO at Northrop, Warden achieved a dizzying array of firsts. A cybersecurity and information technology expert, she served on the Clinton administration's internet advisory council. Warden held several executive roles prior to taking the helm at Northrop. Warden earned $19.7 million in 2020.

Phebe Novakovic - General Dynamics GD

A former CIA agent, Novakovic joined General Dynamics in 2001 and became CEO in 2013. Forbes ranked Novakovic as the 25th most powerful woman in the world. Her total compensation was $18.9 million in 2020.

Gail Boudreaux - Anthem ANTM

College basketball star Boudreaux served as executive at several companies before becoming CEO of UnitedHealthcare in 2011. She founded GKB Global Health, a health care strategy and business advisory firm in 2015, and was named CEO at Anthem in 2017. Boudreaux earned $17.1 million in 2020.

GM CEO Mary Barra. Benzinga file photo by Dustin Blitchok. 

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Posted In: Mid CapNewsMovers & ShakersManagementTop StoriesSuccess StoriesMediaGeneralGail BoudreauxInternational Women's DayKathy WardenLisa SuMary BarraPhebe NovakovicWomen's History Month
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