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UK fundraising plagued by persistent gender pay gap


16 March 2020 at 4:13 pm
Luke Michael
Women make up 76 per cent of fundraisers in the UK


Luke Michael | 16 March 2020 at 4:13 pm


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UK fundraising plagued by persistent gender pay gap
16 March 2020 at 4:13 pm

Women make up 76 per cent of fundraisers in the UK

Female fundraisers in the UK are disproportionately missing out on leadership roles and experience a 14 per cent gender pay gap, new research reveals.

A study commissioned by the Institute of Fundraising uncovered a “longstanding and ingrained problem” of gender inequality in the charity sector, caused by deep cultural and systemic issues.

Researchers said while the salaries of male and female fundraisers began around the same level, a gap soon developed and grew as careers progressed.

Men working full-time in the industry reported salaries that were 14.3 per cent higher than women.

Co-author of the report Dr Elizabeth J. Dale said it was troubling to see that gender stereotyping was still so prevalent, especially among donors and board members in fundraising organisations.

“This research calls on the entire sector, and society more broadly, to not only recognise women’s talent and leadership ambition but to rethink how to address tensions between work and family and create additional supports so that more women can obtain leadership roles,” Dale said.

Researchers conducted an online survey of 790 professional UK fundraisers and found the main barrier women faced in achieving their leadership ambitions was the lack of flexibility in their hours and working patterns.

Women also noted a lack of recognition and appropriate policies to deal with the full range of women’s health needs.

Despite these barriers, women still make up 76 per cent of fundraisers in the UK.

The report recommends that charities invest in recruiting more diverse candidates to boards and senior leadership positions.

It said a zero harassment policy needed to be in place for trustees, donors and staff within charities.

Researchers also called on charities to investigate the gender pay gap within their organisation, be transparent about the findings and share their plans to close the gap.

Report author Dr Beth Breeze said it was clear that the current fundraising landscape was not supporting all the talented women who aspired to leadership roles.

“I hope the recommendations are read and taken seriously by all who are committed to strengthening the fundraising profession and its positive impact on society,” Breeze said.

“Together we can make sure that talent rises to the top.”


Luke Michael  |  Journalist  |  @luke_michael96

Luke Michael is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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