(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 properly, although it’s onerous to inform as a result of there are so few of them. On a current record 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 record, who earned $25 million final 12 months, and Hewlett-Packard’s Meg Whitman, No. 95, who earned $18 million. However the highest-paid feminine CEO in America is just not 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 subject she entered as an lawyer specializing within the legislation of area. However what’s actually extraordinary about Rothblatt’s ascent is just not 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 record is that shewho earned $38 million final yearwas born male.

It’s like profitable the lottery, Rothblatt stated fortunately, about seeing her title atop the record, throughout one of many conferences I had together with her this summer season. However Rothblatt couldn’t be much less thinking about establishing herself as a job mannequin for ladies. 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 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 approach of the tech elite. Martine is transgender, an influence trans, which makes her a good rarer species within the company jungle than a feminine CEO. And he or she 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 pictures present her sporting lipstick, her lengthy, curly hair free 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 sometimes lose observe 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 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 needs 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 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 at least one’s function in society as pores and skin tone. Therefore, the authorized division of individuals into women and men is as improper because the authorized division of individuals into black and white races. As a substitute, she recommended, individuals may higher categorical their gender and sexual identities on a spectrum, maybe by way of coloration: Inexperienced could be 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.