Closing the Nonprofit Sector’s Gender Pay Gap

Sadly, in the United States a gender pay gap of 22% still exists. In practically every corner of the workforce, women earn less than men. While the gap has become smaller over the years, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), a U.S. think tank founded in 1987 that tracks wages, projects that at our current pace, it will be 2058 before women finally reach pay parity.

Possibly more surprising and sobering is the reality that the gender pay gap is even greater in the nonprofit sector.

Women Dominate Nonprofit Leadership; Lag in Pay

Women in the nonprofit sector earn 25% less than their male counterparts noted Ruth McCambridge in Nonprofit Quarterly, reporting on a survey performed by the Bayer Center Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University. Peggy Outon, Bayer Center’s executive director said, “We’ve made some progress and gained some ground before the Great Recession [in 2008], but since then we’ve hit a plateau. Nonprofit boards of directors must own their responsibilities as employers and citizens and refuse to allow pay inequity to be the norm.”

How to Close the Gender Pay Gap?

Data shows that the wage gap is the smallest for young women. According to an estimate by Pew, women ages 25-34 have closed the gap to 83 cents to the dollar. For mid-to- late career women, the gap remains much larger.

There’s no one simple fix to this problem. It’s going to require that government implement relevant policies, and for the equal pay cultural movement to occur at a faster pace. Until then, women are going to have to be their own guardians and speak loud and clear to protect their financial interests.

Amy DeVita is a publisher, entrepreneur, mother, wife, social media enthusiast and fan and avid supporter of the nonprofit/ for-impact sector. She has written for Top Nonprofits and Third Sector Today; she has been quoted on pieces about social media and social impact on The Huffington Post and The Daily Beast. She was named to the Leading Women Entrepreneurs in NJ Monthly and she is a member of Social Media for Nonprofits’ Leadership Council. In her spare time she enjoys kayaking, yoga, hiking, traveling, and playing Scrabble. Amy lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children, and two dogs. In 1984 she earned the “Most Improved Average” honor on her bowling league.

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