Friend or Foe? CEO gender, political ideology, and gender-pay disparities in executive compensation

Olga Kalogeraki*, Dimitrios Georgakakis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Do female CEOs reduce gender-pay disparities in top management teams (TMTs)? Some scholars draw on social identity theory to argue that, as individuals tend to identify with and support their in-groups, appointing a female corporate leader (i.e., CEO) will mitigate the gender-pay gap among executives. Yet, others draw on the queen-bee syndrome to postulate that some female CEOs may rather strengthen gender-pay disparities in upper echelons – by favoring out-groups (male) more than their in-groups (female). We bring together these opposing theoretical arguments to develop a ‘beyond CEO gender’ perspective, arguing that the effects of CEO gender on TMT gender-pay disparities should be considered in conjunction with the corporate leaders' values – as reflected by their political ideology. Our research demonstrates that conservative-female CEOs compensate female (versus male) executives lower compared to all other CEO gender-ideology categories (i.e., female-liberal CEOs, male-liberal CEOs, and male-conservative CEOs). Overall, our work contributes to theory on the CEO-TMT interface by highlighting the role of the CEO as the ‘architect’ of executive remuneration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102126
Number of pages15
JournalLong Range Planning
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2021 Elsevier Ltd.
Funding Information:
We thank Bert Cannella, Peder Greve, Martin Hilb, and Winfried Ruigrok for their help, feedback and discussions at earlier stages of this paper's development.


  • CEO-TMT interface
  • Executive compensation
  • Queen-bee syndrome
  • Social identity theory

Cite this