96% of Corporate Leaders Agree: Gender Pay Gap Must be Fixed

Excerpted from Waterman Hurst: The momentum is building, you read and hear about it almost daily. More board, CEO and top-level jobs are going to women in almost every industry and the drumbeat about the gender pay gap is loud and clear. But is this more of a media movement than a real fix? Will the momentum die before 50/50 leadership is achieved and before women and men are paid the same?

While there is an overwhelming number of articles and studies supporting gender diversity and the necessity to close the pay gap, we wanted to know how corporate leaders (who are mostly male) are reacting and responding to the movement. Are top male leader’s views different from top female leaders?

We surveyed 100 of the gatekeepers, a virtual consortium of top leaders who are CEOs, Board members, other C-level leaders, as well as talent leaders, Private Equity Partners and Executive Search Partners to get an idea of how top leaders are trending on the gender pay gap. 50 out of 100 gatekeepers responded to the survey.


Yes. 96% of the gatekeepers say the gender pay gap is real and must be fixed. Here we saw clear solidarity among the leaders.*

Mark Sullivan, President of Buckhorn, shared his thoughts, “In nearly every organization I have joined, I am surprised by the pay inequity disadvantaging females. It seems to come from carelessness, but the checks to eliminate it are inadequate. It especially impacts women who have non-traditional career paths or come into the organization with a significant pay difference and no one corrects it at the outset or even over time.”

“Women have been some of my best bosses and mentors; any gender pay gap is unfair and must be closed,” shared Carlos Cata, Managing Partner at Caldwell, and Board Member at Make-A-Wish.

Lonnie Shoff, President of Thermo Fisher Scientific commented, “Every leader needs to be progressive and proactive and make sure that there is pay parity on their team. We all need to fight bias. Once you get into a leadership position, you have the power to make a difference. Given we have been aware of the pay gap for more than 50 years and it still exists, it is clear that some leaders need a law or regulations to make pay equity a priority.”

Dave Winston, Managing Partner at Caldwell Partners, felt strongly about management’s prerogative too, “You can’t legislate judgement; this is a leadership issue. Period.”

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