We all are familiar with the issue of gender pay gap, and that men earn more, on an average, than women. Since the beginning of time the man in a relationship takes up the role of the ‘provider’, earning the bread for the family. Interestingly, Forbes revealed in a study that 12 female CEOs received a median of $13.8 million compared to the $11.6 million median earned by the 382 male CEOs last year. The study also revealed that this seemingly new trend isn’t really new, and that women CEOs have always made more money than their counterparts.
Our showbiz celebrities are not far behind. While actresses have been fighting for being paid as much as the actors do, there are many star wives who earn equal or more than their star husbands in the glam industry. From Kareena Kapoor to Aishwarya Rai, Farah Khan to Hema Malini, many celebrity wives earn a fatter salary than their husbands. Even in Hollywood, Angelina takes a heavier pay cheque than former hubby Brad Pitt. Sex and the City’s Sarah Jessica Parker also walks away with more money than husband Matthew Broderick.
This brings us to an important point — while for many men their wives’ earning more could be an issue, the relationship of these couples seem to be sailing smoothly. “It’s all about the mentality and even priority to family over self,” says relationship expert Richa Khepawat, adding, “Money becomes an issue only when the man starts feeling lesser than the woman and feels that there is something lacking in their life. Sometimes your partner’s skillsets are more in demand than your own and hence, they get more work and paid more. If you are in a relationship where you understand and motivate each other’s ambitions, then money becomes just a number.” And, to exemplify Richa’s thoughts, we present a few celebrity wives who earn more than their husbands.
Ahead in leaps and bounds: Once ranked as the number one women’s doubles tennis player in the world, Sania Mirza is one of the most successful Indian athletes of all time. The tennis champ is ahead in leaps and bounds in terms of earnings of her husband, Pakistani cricket star Shoaib Malik. Reportedly, Sania earns a substantial amount from her brand endorsements apart from her sports, and now, with a biopic being made on Sania’s life, she certainly is the one earning more in the couple.
Last name can only help you so much: Not only is Aishwarya Rai (Bachchan) known as one of the most beautiful women in the world, but she also has many endorsements, movies and modelling assignments in her kitty. While Abhishek Bachchan’s last name does add some value to his career, on her own Aishwarya’s net worth as calculated by Forbes at $35 million is way higher than that of Abhishek’s at $30 million. Interestingly, the 1994 Miss World’s husband is a recipient of a National Film Award (as a producer for the best feature film) for Paa and is the owner of the Jaipur Pink Panthers team in Pro Kabaddi League, Abhi’s total earnings are still lesser than Aishwarya’s.
Soaring higher than her mate: Saif Ali Khan may be the son of the last Nawab of Pataudi, but when it comes to earning a fatter pay cheque, his wife Kareena Kapoor takes the lead. Once regarded as the highest paid actress in Bollywood, Kareena was paid more than Saif for their last movie together, Kurbaan.
Earning a heftier sum: Bipasha Basu recently got married to Karan Singh Grover, who is a struggling actor in the Bollywood. Karan might have earned huge popularity on TV, but is still a newcomer in the movie industry. With various movies, endorsements and modelling projects, Bipasha undoubtedly earns more than her husband.
A seismic social shift: Sunny Leone, who won many hearts in the reality TV show Bigg Boss, earns more than her husband Daniel Weber. Apart from appearing in many Bollywood movies, she also hosts the reality show Splitsvilla, actively campaigns for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Los Angeles Half-Marathon to raise money for the American Cancer Society and has posed for a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) ad campaign. Daniel, on the other hand, is her business partner and manager.
Behind the steering wheel: While Farah Khan has made many commercially hit films such as Om Shanti Om, Main Hoon Na and Tees Maar Khan, her husband Shirish Kunder’s ambitious project Joker failed to garner appreciation or money at the box office despite starring top stars Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha. Apart from being a successful director, Farah is also a well-known choreographer and television personality. In addition to that, Farah has worked on international projects such as Marigold: An Adventure in India, Monsoon Wedding and the Chinese film Perhaps Love, increasing her earning way beyond that of her husband’s.
It’s about supporting each other: Singer Chinmayi Sripada has sung melodies in several languages for both regional and Bollywood films and has also been nominated for a National Award. Recently, her husband Rahul Ravindran, who is an actor, tweeted about Chinmayi earning more than him. “My wife filed higher returns than I did last year and pays for her own online or otherwise shopping. She ain’t gotta run anywhere (sic),” he wrote. Talking about this, Rahul says, “If one is more qualified and talented, then they tend to earn more, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong about it. Both of us pool in for some of our expenditures while there are certain things we do individually. We neer discuss how much both of us make.”