Men are twice as likely as women to have senior fundraising roles, Institute of Fundraising study shows

Peter Lewis, chief executive of the IoF, says more must be done to address the gender imbalance and to encourage more people from ethnic minorities to become fundraisers

Peter Lewis
Peter Lewis

Men are twice as likely as women to be working in senior fundraising roles despite the fact that almost three quarters of the fundraising workforce consists of women, according to new research.

A online survey of 1,492 people working in fundraising carried out by the Institute of Fundraising and the grant-maker the Barrow Cadbury Trust in the summer showed that 19 per cent of the male respondents said they worked in director or chief executive positions, compared with 9 per cent of females.

A report into the findings also shows that fundraising is less diverse than the rest of the voluntary sector.

It showed that 5 per cent of those surveyed said they had a disability, far lower than the 18 per cent of the wider voluntary sector workforce who identified themselves as disabled for the UK Voluntary Sector Workforce Almanac, published by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations

The IoF said that it is also lower than the 16 per cent of people in the public sector who say they have a disability and 14 per cent of people in private sector.

The proportion of people from ethnic minority backgrounds is also smaller than the national average, according to the research.

It found that 2 per cent of respondents to the survey were black, compared with 3.3 per cent of the population in the 2011 census, and 3 per cent of respondents said they were Asian, compared with 7.5 per cent in the census. 

Peter Lewis, chief executive of the Institute of Fundraising, said it was clear that more needed to be done to encourage more disabled people and people from ethnic minorities to join the fundraising profession. More work was also needed to address the gender imbalance at senior levels, he said.

"It is now our responsibility, for the benefit of charities here and abroad, to share this research with our members and the wider sector and to work with our members to increase the diversity of our young profession," he said.

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