Male CEOs with deeper voices paid more, study finds

A male CEO's pay may be directly linked to how masculine his voice sounds, according to a Sept. 2 study published in the Journal of Management Studies.

For things to know:

  1. For the study, researchers from Evanston, Ill.-based Northwestern University, the University of Illinois-Chicago and New York City-based NYU Langone examined the CEOs of UK's Financial Times Stock Exchange 1,000 over a 10-year period, according to a Sept. 22 Quartz article. The researchers gathered voice samples from all the CEOs and used a computer program to analyze the deepness of their voices.

  2. When comparing compensation, the researchers factored in salary, benefits, company size, performance and education. A deeper voice was associated with a 6.6 percent increase in pay., compared to male CEOs that didn't have a deep voice.

  3. The study also found that in industries that were more competitive and had fewer female board members, more companies were helmed by deep-voiced CEOs.

  4. The researchers hypothesized that board members unconsciously associate deep voices with strong leaders. Deeper voices send out a signal of strength, and male board members are more likely to pick up on it, the researchers said.

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