The 10 Highest-Paid Women CEOs

Meet the trailblazing women CEOs breaking glass ceilings and setting new records.

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Updated May 28, 2024
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It’s no secret that the business world is male-dominated. A 2015 report revealed that there were fewer female CEOs and business leaders than men named John.

The stories of women CEOs are often fascinating, and their success is inspiring. Learning about their progression up the ladder and path to building wealth can motivate any businessperson.

Here are the 10 powerhouse female CEOs redefining what it means to achieve success.

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10. Carol Tomé

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Carol Tomé is the first female CEO of UPS and made an estimated $19 million in 2022, a drop from her $27.6 million salary the year prior but still nothing to scoff at.

She was formerly the CFO of Home Depot before taking the role with UPS, which she came out of retirement to fulfill.

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9. Kathy Warden

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Another powerhouse woman CEO is Kathy Warden, who serves as both CEO and president of Northrop Grumman. She’s held the position since 2019, the same year she was named chairman of the Board of Directors.

She also shares her work history with Phebe Novakovic, having worked at General Dynamics. Warden made an estimated $20.7 million in the 2022 fiscal year.

8. Gail Boudreaux

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Gail Boudreaux currently serves as the CEO of Elevance Health (formerly known as Anthem), but this is not her first time holding the position. Before taking on her current role in 2017, she was the CEO of UnitedHealthcare.

Ranked 14 on Forbes' Power Women list, Boudreaux made nearly $21 million in 2022. She holds a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth and a master's degree from Columbia.

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7. Lynn Good

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Another high-paid female CEO is Lynn Good, the head of Duke Energy. Good, estimated to have made over $21 million in 2022, is a Miami University graduate and Duke Energy’s former CFO.

Good has made strides to invest in solar energy as Duke Energy’s CEO, following a trend of lowering carbon dioxide emission rates. The company is striving to reach net-zero emission rates by 2050.

6. Phebe Novakovic

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Phebe Novakovic got her start as a CIA operative before eventually taking over as General Dynamics in 2013. Her net worth as of 2023 was an estimated $260 million, and she makes an estimated $23.55 million annually.

The Virginia native holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Pennsylvania. In 2018, she spearheaded the acquisition of CSRA, worth $9.8 billion.

5. Jane Fraser

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Jane Fraser, the CEO of Citigroup, also made Forbes’ Power Women list, ranking seventh. She took the role of CEO in 2021 and is not only the company’s first female to fill the position but the first woman to head up a Wall Street bank.

Fraser has been with Citi since 2004 and raked in an estimated $24.5 million in total in 2022.

4. Adena Friedman

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Adena Friedman is the CEO of Nasdaq. She joined the company as an intern in 1993, rehired in 2014 as CFO, and promoted to CEO in 2017. She's estimated to make $28 million per year.

Friedman's drive as CEO has been to modernize the company, including advocating for companies going public, investing in tech, and being transparent about diversity. 

Her master's degree is in Business Administration and was obtained at the Owen Graduate School of Management.

3. Mary Barra

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Mary Barra is the CEO of General Motors (GM) and makes an estimated $29 million per year. Barra also took over as CEO in 2014. In doing so, she became the first woman to head up a major automotive company.

The Stanford School of Business graduate has worked with GM since the 1980s and participated in a student co-op before that. Barra recently came under fire after a controversial response to the UAW strike.

2. Lisa Su

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Lisa Su is one of the highest-paid female CEOs. The Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) bigwig is not only one of the highest-paid CEOs of her gender but also made a reported $13 million more than the highest-paid male CEO in an AP survey. In 2022 she made over $30 million.

Su took over as AMD’s CEO in 2014 after having been with the company for two years, increasing her capital and the company’s stock. Her bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and Ph.D. were all earned at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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1. Julie Sweet

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Julie Sweet has served as Accenture’s CEO since 2019. Previously, she served as the company’s general counsel and North American head.

She ranked number 11 on Forbes’ Power Women list in 2023 and was on the 50 over 50 Investment list in 2022. The Maryland native was estimated to have made a little over $31 million in 2023.

Bottom line

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As the business world becomes more expansive and diversified, it’s inspiring to see the women who have paved the path that others may take in the future.

The top female CEOs come from unique financial, cultural, educational, and professional backgrounds. Yet, each has established a place for women in the business world to climb the corporate ladder and get ahead financially.

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Author Details

Lucy Clark

Lucy Clark has considerable experience writing about real estate, as well as homes and gardens, home value, and more. She is savvy and resourceful, and she aims to ensure others can be, as well.