Pioneers Post

Voluntary sector failing to deliver equality for women new report finds

26 January 2012

What the figures say:

  • The voluntary sector is the women's sector - 68% of our workforce is female  and women make up the majority of those giving time  and money . However, women are simply not making it up the ranks into leadership in the numbers we might expect; just 43% of charity leaders are female 
  • Women’s representation declines steadily as roles become more senior  
  • Women leaders are especially absent from major charities, with just 27% of female CEOs in the £10m+ bracket 
  • Women leaders are particularly under represented in religious and educational charities and umbrella bodies 
  • Female CEOs take home 16% less pay than their male counterparts, an average of £10k a year 
  • In the top 100 by income women CEOs can expect to be paid 18% less than their male counterparts, missing out on an average of £30,000 a year 

A new report out today reveals that just 27% of the UK’s top charity CEOs are women.

Close to Parity: challenging the voluntary sector to smash the glass ceiling shows that while 7 in 10 voluntary sector workers are women, only 43% are leading charities. This figure falls to just 27% in charities turning over £10m or more.
Women CEOs in the top bracket can also expect to earn 18% less than their male counterparts, missing out on an average of £30,000 a year.
Rowena Lewis, the author of the report, has argued the statistics are damning of sector considers itself leaders in equality, saying: “We have failed to achieve a level playing field amongst our own people. If we can’t get diversity right, what hope have we of achieving our wider aims?”
While the figures reflect poorly on the voluntary sector’s efforts to achieve gender equality, women are struggling to reach the top of many professions; only 22% of MPs are women and the figure drops to 14% amongst FTSE100 directors.
The report is being launched today at an event in the City of London. The panel joining Rowena Lewis will be: Lesley-Anne Alexander, Chief Executive, RNIB; Emma-Jane Cross, Chief Executive, Beatbullying; Dame Mary Marsh, Director, Clore Social Leadership Programme and Jennifer Ogole, Chief Executive, Bang Edutainment.

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