(Photograph: Peter Hapak/New York Journal)

Solely about 5
p.c of the businesses within the Fortune 500 are run by girls; double the pattern dimension, and the proportion is similar. Compensation ranges for feminine CEOs seem to lag as effectively, although it’s laborious to inform as a result of there are so few of them. On a latest listing of America’s 200 highest-paid CEOs, solely 11 have been girls, and their median pay was $1.6 million lower than their male friends. Sure of those girls are already family names: Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer, No. 34 on the listing, who earned $25 million final yr, and Hewlett-Packard’s Meg Whitman, No. 95, who earned $18 million. However the highest-paid feminine CEO in America is just not almost as well-known. She is Martine Rothblatt, the 59-year-old founding father of United Therapeuticsa publicly traded, Silver Spring, Marylandbased pharmaceutical companywho made a earlier fortune as a founding father of Sirius radio, a discipline she entered as an lawyer specializing within the regulation of area. However what’s actually extraordinary about Rothblatt’s ascent is just not that she has leaned in, or out, or had any explicit ideas about having all of it. What units Rothblatt other than the opposite girls on the listing is that shewho earned $38 million final yearwas born male.

It’s like successful the lottery, Rothblatt mentioned fortunately, about seeing her identify atop the listing, throughout one of many conferences I had along with her this summer season. However Rothblatt couldn’t be much less considering establishing herself as a task mannequin for girls. I can’t declare that what I’ve achieved is equal to what a lady has achieved. For the primary half of my life, I used to be male, she mentioned.

In individual, Martine is magnificent, like a tall lanky teenage boy with breasts. She wears no make-up or jewellery, and he or she inhabits her muted clothingcargo pants, a T-shirt, a floppy button-down thrown on topin the youthful, offhand approach of the tech elite. Martine is transgender, an influence trans, which makes her an excellent rarer species within the company jungle than a feminine CEO. And she or he appears genuinely to experience her self-built in-betweenness. Simply after her sex-reassignment surgical procedure in 1994, her look was extra female than it’s todayold pictures present her sporting lipstick, her lengthy, curly hair unfastened about her shoulders. However within the years since she has developed her personal unisexual model. She is an individual for whom gender issues sufficient to have undergone radical surgical procedure, however not sufficient to care whether or not she’s referred to as she or he by individuals, like her 83-year-old mom, who often lose monitor of which pronoun to make use of.

What she prefers to be referred to as is Martine. To her 4 younger grandchildren she is Grand Martine. Bina Aspen, the girl who married Martine 33 years in the past, when Martine was a person, and stays her devoted spouse, calls herself not straight or homosexual however Martine-sexualas in the one individual she needs to have intercourse with is Martine. Collectively Martine and Bina have 4 kids, and so they discuss with Martine as Martine in conversations with strangers. At residence, they name her Dad.

In 1995, simply after her transition, Martine revealed The Apartheid of Intercourse, a slim manifesto that insisted on an overhaul of dimorphic (her phrase) gender classes. There are 5 billion individuals on the earth and 5 billion distinctive sexual identities, she wrote. Genitals are as irrelevant to 1’s position in society as pores and skin tone. Therefore, the authorized division of individuals into men and women is as fallacious because the authorized division of individuals into black and white races. As an alternative, she recommended, individuals may higher specific their gender and sexual identities on a spectrum, maybe when it comes to coloration: Inexperienced is likely to be an equally aggressive/nurturing one that doesn’t attempt to seem attractive (lime inexperienced somebody rather less aggressive), and purple somebody mild, nourishing, and erotic in equal measure.