Gender pay gap among general charities far lower than other sectors, research finds

The average pay gap among charities excluding organisations such as independent schools is just 2 per cent in favour of men

The average gender pay gap among general charities is just 2 per cent in favour of men, far lower than the averages in the private and public sectors, new research shows.

The analysis was carried out by the freelance data scientist David Kane and has been published today by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.

All organisations with more than 250 employees have been required since last year to submit annual data on gender pay, which is published on a government website.

Of the more than 10,000 UK organisations that submitted data for 2018/19 by early April, Kane identified 571 charities.

He then reduced this to "general" charities using the definition in the NCVO’s annual almanac, which discounts organisations such as charitable independent schools, government-controlled bodies and housing associations.

The average gender pay gap among all the charities identified by Kane was 7.9 per cent in April, but the latest analysis shows the figure fell to just 2 per cent for general charities.

The figure compares favourably with an average 12 per cent pay gap in the private sector and 11 per cent in the public sector. The average across all the UK organisations that filed their data for 2018/19 was 8.6 per cent.

The research shows that 53 per cent of general charities pay men more than women, compared with 78 per cent in the private sector and 84 per cent in the public sector.

It also shows that charities across the board have a better representation of women across all pay quartiles.

Women make up 63 per cent of the workforce in the highest pay quartile, researchers found, compared with just 26 per cent in the private sector.

Karl Wilding, director of public policy at the NCVO, said the findings told a positive story for household-name charities.

"But we still have a way to go – we must never be complacent," he said.

"Looking at gender equality is just a start. We must also start thinking about ways we can use data to identify and challenge unequal pay for other groups that are under-represented and experience discrimination."

He said the NCVO encouraged all charities, regardless of size, to publish their gender pay gap data for transparency purposes. 

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