A tenth of female charity staff resigned last year

The proportion of women resigning from jobs in the charity sector more than doubled last year, according to research by the Chartered Management Institute and Remuneration Economics.

The female resignation rate in charities was 9.7 per cent in 2006, compared with 4 per cent the previous year. Only in the retail sector was the proportion higher. By contrast, only 2.4 per cent of men resigned their jobs in the sector.

However, female managers in the sector earn an average of £31,787 a year, compared with £31,995 for men. The gender pay gap in the UK economy as a whole is on average more than £6,000 in favour of men.

Jo Causon, director of marketing and corporate affairs at the Chartered Management Institute, said that rapid turnover of female staff may be "because women are motivated by the opportunity to progress".

The survey also showed that women were promoted in the sector faster than men. The average female team leader in the sector is 37, five years younger than her male equivalent.

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