Average chief executive salary 'fell by more than £5k last year'

Acevo's Pay and Equalities Survey 2016 says the median salary was £50,000, compared with £55,000 in 2015

The average charity chief executive salary has fallen by more than £5,000 over the past year, according to a survey by the leaders body Acevo.

The Pay and Equalities Survey 2017, which is based on a survey of 473 charity chief executives that took place between 28 September and 24 October, says that the median chief executive salary was £50,000, compared with £55,500 in 2015.

It says that 3 per cent of charity leaders are from black or minority ethnic backgrounds, similar to levels seen in Acevo surveys in 2014 and 2013 and four percentage points lower than found by last year’s survey.

In comparison, the 2011 census found that people from BME backgrounds accounted for 14 per cent of the population of England and Wales.

Asheem Singh, interim chief executive of Acevo, called for the introduction of a charity sector version of the "Rooney Rule", which is used in the National Football League in the US to ensure at least one person of a BME background is on the shortlist for every available senior coaching role.

But the survey did show significant progress in gender equality in the charity sector, with women now accounting for 58 per cent of charity chief executives, up from 48 per cent two years ago.

Singh said: "I am pleased that the sector’s work on gender equality is beginning to pay off. Acevo’s women leaders special interest group has been a force for good for some years, and I hope it will continue into the future.

"The issue of race, however, remains shamefully under-discussed. For far too long the issue of race has been in the ‘irrelevant or too difficult’ box. Few have been prepared to interrogate and challenge the barriers to entry for fear of rocking the boat. The sector can no longer sit on its hands and hope the issue resolves itself."

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