Before the confetti hit the ground after celebrating GM’s historic announcement of its first female CEO, the salary of newly named GM President/CEO Mary Barra was announced. Sounded like a great deal for those who could get it, until you looked at what the outgoing president/CEO Dan Akerson made…and what he is expected to make as a consultant, which is more than what Barra stands to make as president. That’s not much to celebrate.
Sure, the post announcement message managers explained the disparity and contingencies that are to ultimately level this playing, or rather paying field. But, the reality is that a woman’s worth still pales in comparison to those of men in the same positions and fields.
In sports and real estate, past salaries, performances and sales all help to drive those for the next player or buyer. It sets the stage for negotiations, and serves as leverage to maximize the deal. Certainly, there is room for theses same factors when filling a job where the salaries should be commensurate with the responsibilities, regardless of who is sitting in the seat.
Being the first head of a US Automotive company is a major accomplishment; one that I hope continues to serves as a pathway for other firsts—gender, race, etc. Holding a position without having the same and fair compensation package ultimately undermines the real reason for being there in the first place. We don’t need the glass ceiling raised; we need it broken and removed.