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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Third sector worst for gender pay gap

This news post is over 6 years old

​Despite many being ethical employers, third sector organisations don't fare well when it comes to pay equality

Men get paid on average 16.7% higher salaries in the voluntary sector than their female counterparts, a survey has found.

The figure is higher than the UK average for all industries which currently stands at 14.2%.

TPP Recruitment undertook the survey, building on previous research by Agenda Consulting that found women dominated the sector in terms of numbers but got still got paid less.

A total of 1,489 sector workers were surveyed in four specific areas: 127 HR respondents, 163 finance respondents, 783 marketing and communication respondents, and 416 fundraising respondents.

It took account of the fact that women are more likely to take part in part-time or temporary roles than men, which generally pay less than their full time permanent equivalent and may contribute to the to the charity gender pay gap.

Male dominated senior management teams all too often hire in their own image

However it believes the primary reason for the gap is still the fact there aren’t enough women in senior charity roles.

The survey reveals a more positive gender pay gap in women’s favour at the more junior levels, but as you move up the chain of seniority, women become less well paid than their male counterparts.

It shows that women in director roles are paid 16% less than men, while women in assistant and coordinator level jobs are paid 10% more than men.

“While there are many factors that affect the gender pay gap, such as more women than men working in part-time roles, or career gaps due to maternity leave, the primary factor is the lack of women in senior roles, so achieving pay parity needs to focus on getting more women into these roles,” the company states.

It adds: “Male dominated senior management teams all too often hire in their own image. It is a human tendency to prefer ‘people like us’, which means when promoting or recruiting, we always tend to go for the closest thing to ourselves, leading to a fundamental lack of diversity.”

Charities should set pay scales, overhaul their recruitment processes and recruit “champions” to make gender equality happen, the recruitiment firm concludes.



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