(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 measurement, and the proportion is identical. Compensation ranges for feminine CEOs seem to lag as effectively, although it’s onerous to inform as a result of there are so few of them. On a latest checklist of America’s 200 highest-paid CEOs, solely 11 had 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 checklist, 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 just isn’t practically 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 legal professional specializing within the regulation of area. However what’s actually extraordinary about Rothblatt’s ascent just isn’t that she has leaned in, or out, or had any specific ideas about having all of it. What units Rothblatt other than the opposite girls on the checklist is that shewho earned $38 million final yearwas born male.

It’s like profitable the lottery, Rothblatt stated fortunately, about seeing her identify atop the checklist, throughout one of many conferences I had together with her this summer season. However Rothblatt couldn’t be much less desirous about establishing herself as a job mannequin for ladies. I can’t declare that what I’ve achieved is equal to what a girl has achieved. For the primary half of my life, I used to be male, she stated.

In particular person, Martine is magnificent, like a tall lanky teenage boy with breasts. She wears no make-up or jewellery, and she or he inhabits her muted clothingcargo pants, a T-shirt, a floppy button-down thrown on topin the youthful, offhand means of the tech elite. Martine is transgender, an influence trans, which makes her a fair rarer species within the company jungle than a feminine CEO. And she or he appears genuinely to enjoy her self-built in-betweenness. Simply after her sex-reassignment surgical procedure in 1994, her look was extra female than it’s todayold images present her carrying lipstick, her lengthy, curly hair free about her shoulders. However within the years since she has developed her personal unisexual type. 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 known 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 known as is Martine. To her 4 younger grandchildren she is Grand Martine. Bina Aspen, the lady 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 particular person she desires to have intercourse with is Martine. Collectively Martine and Bina have 4 youngsters, and so they seek advice from Martine as Martine in conversations with strangers. At dwelling, they name her Dad.

In 1995, simply after her transition, Martine printed 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 at least one’s function in society as pores and skin tone. Therefore, the authorized division of individuals into men and women is as flawed because the authorized division of individuals into black and white races. As an alternative, she advised, individuals would possibly higher specific their gender and sexual identities on a spectrum, maybe by way of colour: Inexperienced is perhaps an equally aggressive/nurturing one who doesn’t attempt to seem attractive (lime inexperienced somebody rather less aggressive), and purple somebody mild, nourishing, and erotic in equal measure.