CEO Pay is Out of Control

Photo by Fringer Cat on Unsplash

This post is authored by Jessica Church, Take On Wall Street’s Advocacy and Political Manager

In October, I published an article in the Washington Monthly about creative legislative solutions to curb excessive executive compensation. 

Here are the facts:

  • CEOs in the 1960s made roughly 20 times the average pay of their company’s typical worker.
  • In 2022, using the realized compensation measure, the CEO-to-worker compensation ratio reached 344-to-1.
  • In the past 10 years, annual CEO pay at S&P 500 companies increased by more than $5 million to an average of $16.7 million in 2022.
  • Meanwhile, the average U.S. worker only saw a wage increase of $15,460 over the past decade, earning on average just $61,900 in 2022.
  • Extreme pay disparities between CEOs and workers widen the gender and racial pay gap, since women and Black, Indigenous, and other people of color make up a disproportionately large share of low-wage workers and a tiny share of corporate leaders. 
  • In 2022, women held only around 10 percent of Fortune 500 CEO positions, but made up 63.5 percent of workers earning the federal minimum wage. 
  • Black CEOs lead just 1.6 percent of Fortune 500 companies.

After the Washington Monthly article ran, I was invited onto Joan Esposito’s radio show, Heartland Signal, to share more about out of control executive compensation and some policy ideas to address it. You can listen to the clip here

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