Majority of the females operating the largest US-based companies recorded a salary rise in 2020 despite the economic impact of the pandemic, which also affected several businesses.

But amid the increase, women chief executives’ median pay was down last year. The already little group shed many high-profile females off their ranks which goes to say that pay revisions for a handful contributed to the slant of the whole numbers.

Only 16 women were listed out of the 342 CEOs in a compensation survey of S&P 500 companies conducted by the AP and Equilar. The figures are less by 20 as compared from the previous year as some women like Virginia Rometty, IBM’s CEO, stepped down from their positions.

The survey only counted CEOs who have been in the position for at least a couple of fiscal years. The filing of proxy statements in the period between January 1 and April 30 was also considered.

Thirteen out of 16 female CEOs, or 81 percent, said their salary has increased; while it was 60 percent on their male counterpart.

However, Lynn Good of Duke Energy observed about a 3 percent compensation decrease to $14.3 million. Good sits in the middle of the pay range in the female CEO survey, setting the median compensation for the group at $13.6 million.

It made a 1.9 percent decrease from the median as compared to the similar CEOs gained in the previous year.

Experts note that change is happening given that the figures of females in the survey fell. They said the change happens gradually as firms did not succeed in giving women the right recognition and preparation for the position.

“It’s a slow process,” said President & CEO of Catalyst, Lorraine Hariton, said. “But the reasons are we are still dealing with cultures embedded with unconscious bias and building the pipeline of women CEOs takes time.”