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June 18, 2018

The Top 10 Highest-Paid Women Executives in Biopharma

Compensation Has Climbed since 2014, yet Gap with Male Counterparts Remains

The Top 10 Highest-Paid Women Executives in Biopharma

This year, five women commanded compensation of $10 million or more, compared with just a single eight-figure executive the first time GEN ranked top-paid women biopharma executives back in 2013. Yet the highest-paid woman made just over one-third (36%) of what the highest-paid male executive made in 2017.

  • Reports that topless women bearing the logos of biopharma company sponsors were among the dancers at The Party at BIO Not Associated with BIO (PABNAB) overshadowed the best-in-a-decade crowd of 18,289 attendees who descended upon the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center for the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO)’s 2018 International Convention.

    It serves as a stark reminder of just how far biopharma still needs go, even in the #MeToo era, to attain an across-the-board commitment to respect for women and gender diversity. Yet increasingly, that call to action is being voiced by industry leaders: one of them being BIO’s chairman John M. Maraganore, Ph.D., the CEO of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, who publicly declared the PABNAB antics to be “something that we cannot accept as an organization.”

    Last year, the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBio) and executive recruiting company Liftstream issued a report, “Opening the Path to a Diverse Future,” which found that while the percentages of men and women entering biopharma are indeed about equal (49.6% women vs. 50.4% men), women accounted for 24% of C-suite executives, and a mere 14.4% of board members.

    More recently, on June 12, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine called for changes to federal and state laws aimed at preventing sexual harassment of women in a report titled Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report urged Congress and state legislatures to prohibit confidentiality in settlement agreements, and to allow women to sue alleged harassers directly, in addition to their institutions.

    Another tone-deaf reminder, arguably, is the generally lower compensation of top female executives compared with men. While Regeneron Pharmaceuticals President and CEO Leonard S. Schleifer, M.D., Ph.D., fetched an eye-popping $47,462,526 in compensation in 2017, the top-compensated women executive made just over one-third (36%) of that amount at $17,176,056.

    This year, five women commanded compensation of $10 million or more, compared with just a single eight-figure executive the first time GEN ranked top-paid women biopharma executives back in 2013 (Laura J. Schumacher of AbbVie). The lowest-paid of the top-10 women this year made $5,360,037—55% above the $3,450,103 racked up by #10 on that 2013 list.

    Following is this year’s ranking of top women executives at public biopharma companies by their total 2017 compensation, as disclosed in company proxy statements. Each executive is listed by name, title, company, 2017 and 2016 total compensation, and percent change between the two years. All non-U.S. currencies have been converted to U.S. dollars.

  • 10. B. Lynne Parshall

    Company: Ionis Pharmaceuticals

    Title: Senior Strategic Advisor and Director; Former COO 1

    2017 Compensation: $5,360,037

    2016 Compensation: $5,474,628

    % Change: -2.1%

  • 9. Robin L. Washington

    Company: Gilead Sciences

    Title: EVP and CFO

    2017 Compensation: $5,529,346

    2016 Compensation: $5,068,062

    % Change: 9.1%

  • 8. Emma Walmsley

    Company: GlaxoSmithKline

    Title: CEO

    2017 Compensation: £4,883,000 ($6,528,392) 2

    2016 Compensation: N/A

    % Change: N/A

  • 7. Sandra Leung

    Company: Bristol-Myers Squibb

    Title: EVP and General Counsel

    2017 Compensation: $6,543,417

    2016 Compensation: $5,441,801

    % Change: 20.2%

  • 6. Clare Carmichael

    Companies: Wave Life Sciences (2018); Alexion Pharmaceuticals (2011–2017)

    Titles: Chief Human Resources Officer (Wave); EVP, Chief Human Resources Officer (Alexion)

    2017 Compensation: $7,717,762 3

    2016 Compensation: $4,022,659 3

    % Change: 91.9%

  • 5. Maria Teresa Hilado

    Company: Allergan

    Title: EVP and CFO (Retired in February 2018)

    2017 Compensation: $10,761,583

    2016 Compensation: $1,261,052

    % Change: 753.4%

  • 4. Heather Bresch

    Company: Mylan

    Title: CEO

    2017 Compensation: $12,744,397

    2016 Compensation: $13,777,120

    % Change: -7.5%

  • 3. Laura J. Schumacher

    Company: AbbVie

    Title: EVP, External Affairs, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary

    2017 Compensation: $14,979,356

    2016 Compensation: $8,217,699

    % Change: 82.3%

  • 2. Martine Rothblatt, Ph.D., J.D.

    Company: United Therapeutics

    Title: CEO

    2017 Compensation: $16,478,000

    2016 Compensation: $15,424,329

    % Change: 6.8%

  • 1. Sandra E. Peterson

    Company: Johnson & Johnson

    Title: EVP, Group Worldwide Chair

    2017 Compensation: $17,176,056

    2016 Compensation: $8,732,784

    % Change: 96.7%

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