Power & Pay in the C-Suite



(En anglais seulement) Over the past few decades, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) pay has risen spectacularly, as has debate regarding why this has occurred and whether policy should or can correct it. Yet one glaring fact about the C-Suite eludes much of the corporate governance literature and executive compensation policy reforms and proposals: the C-Suite, particularly the CEO role, has long been and continues to be dominated by men. Despite making up half the workforce, few women lead companies in corporate America. Only 8% of CEOs of Fortune 500 companies are women, and women make up less than a quarter of C-level executives. Ample evidence shows that when women come to dominate a profession, the salary of that profession drops. This is particularly true in high-paid white-collar jobs. In a recent essay, published in Inequality Inquiry, we pose the question of whether the opposite proves equally true: as men dominate a profession, does the salary of that profession rise? Might masculinity be the culprit behind increasingly outrageous CEO compensation packages? The essay begins to explore the correlation between executive compensation and men’s domination over senior executive roles, focusing on the CEO position. We delve into various theories that could help explain why men dominate the most lucrative role in corporate America. We argue that law and corporate governance need to account for these theories in designing solutions that address gender disparity in the CEO role.



Professor Darren Rosenblum’s scholarship focuses on corporate governance, in particular on diversity initiatives and remedies for sex inequality. They joined the Faculty of Law of McGill University as a Full Professor in August 2021, from the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University. In 2018, they served as a Wainwright Senior Fellow at McGill Law, during which they taught a course on Sexuality, Gender and the Law. Professor Rosenblum clerked in the U.S. District Court of Puerto Rico (1996–1998), after which they practiced international arbitration at Clifford Chance, and at Skadden (1998–2004).

They wrote the first article of queer legal theory “Queer Intersectionality” (1994) and the first article on transgender prisoners “Trapped in Sing Sing” (2000). They have presented work on corporate board quotas in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. Notably, as a Fulbright Research Scholar in France, they performed a qualitative study on the French quota for women on corporate boards, which was presented at the French National Assembly in 2011.

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