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The world's 5 highest-paid elected women leaders

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In the United States, working women on average earn 80.5 cents for every dollar brought home by a man doing a similar job, according to the Institute for Women's Policy Research. So it may come as no surprise that the top five highest-earning elected women serving in governments worldwide, as surveyed by British financial service firm IG Group, coincidentally happen to earn less than their elected male counterparts in an all-gender list of of elected, appointed and lifetime world leaders.

The top five elected men in IG's list of highest-earning world leaders pulled in an average $457,112, compared to an average $275,034 — or 40 percent less — for the ladies. Now, presidential and other executive-level government salaries are set by law and are not, in general, gender-dependent, but it is interesting to note that it is those Western nations that have somewhat lower political salaries that women have reached the highest elective echelons.

— By CNBC's Kenneth Kiesnoski. Sources: IG Group, Google/World Bank
Posted 1 May 2018

5. Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Norway — $210,714

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg who is a co-chair of the World Economic Forum in 2018
Sean Gallup | Getty Images

With a master's degree in sociology, political science, statistics and economics, Solberg leads one of the wealthiest nations in the world, with a per capita GDP of $70,812, and one of its happiest, too.

Sources: IG Group, Google/World Bank

4. Prime Minister Theresa May, United Kingdom — $212,247

British Prime Minister Theresa May leaving 10 Downing Street.
Jack Taylor | Getty Images

May was elected Britain's second-ever female prime minister in 2016, in the wake of the country's so-called Brexit vote to leave the European Union. The United Kingdom boasts the world's fifth-largest economy, with an annual GDP of just more than $2.6 trillion.

Sources: IG Group, Google/World Bank

3. Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Iceland — $242,619

Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Like May, also the second female prime minister to serve in her country, Iceland's Katrín Jakobsdóttir worked in media as a freelancer before starting her political career in the early 2000s. Although its prime minister is among the world's best paid, Iceland's economy, at $20 billion in GDP annually, is relatively small. However, as there are only 334,252 Icelanders, that comes out to a wealthy per capita GDP of about $59,977.

Sources: IG Group, Google/World Bank

2. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand — $339,862

Jacinda Adern, New Zealand's Prime Minister
Kerry Marshall/Getty Images

Unlike many prime ministers and presidents, Ardern has worked in government from the get-go, joining former Prime Minister Helen Clark's government right after graduating college in 2001. Ardern herself now heads the world's 53rd-largest economy, with annual per capita GDP of $39,427, but rakes in the second-highest salary among female leaders.

Sources: IG Group, Google/World Bank

1. Chancellor Angela Merkel, Germany — $369,727

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks at the headquarters of SPD for preliminary coalition talks on January 7, 2017.
Sean Gallup | Getty Images

Born and educated in the former East Germany and a united Germany's chancellor since 2005, Merkel is perhaps the best-known female world leader since Britain's Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher — with whom she's often compared. She heads the world's fourth-largest economy — after the U.S., China and Japan — with an annual GDP of around $3.47 trillion and, along with French President Emmanuel Macron, is an effective overseer of the collective $17.1 trillion economy of the 28-nation European Union.

Sources: IG Group, Google/World Bank