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Study Finds Narrowing Gender Gap

Friday, February 10, 2017

Gender Pay Gap Is Closing in Pittsburgh Area Nonprofits
Female nonprofit execs earned 81 cents for every $1 their male counterparts did, 2017 Wage and Benefit Survey finds

Pittsburgh, February 10, 2017 – Average salaries of women in leadership positions at nonprofit agencies in southwestern Pennsylvania catching up with those of male executives, according to the latest wage and benefit survey by the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University.

The biennial survey, which includes wage and benefit information from 186 nonprofits employing more than 14,000 people in 10 southwestern Pennsylvania counties, found the current average executive pay for a female executive director is $104,365. That is 81 percent of the average of $128,779 for male executive directors — 81 cents for every dollar the men earn.

While the gap remains large, the average pay for women rose six cents for every dollar from the 2015 survey estimate, which was 75 cents for every dollar the men earn. The survey also found 74 percent of the region's nonprofit workforce and 58 percent of its executive directors are women.

"There's reason to be hopeful from the study," said Peggy Outon, founding executive director of the center. She cited the narrowing pay gap, as well as rising salaries across the board, and other trends such as retirement benefits and annual employee reviews at more than 80 percent of the agencies surveyed.

"We believe that society has taken the equal pay for equal work issue very much to heart, and greater equity is resulting from that. Whether it's Patricia Arquette at the Oscars or the Audi commercial in the Super Bowl, it has been really striking to see how much focus there has been on this issue over the last two or three years," Outon said.

The Bayer Center's ongoing research project, "74%: Exploring the Life of Women in Nonprofit Organizations," has resulted in more than 7 million media impressions in print, web, radio and television outlets.

Comprehensive results from the 2017 survey include a review of salaries and benefits throughout the region's nonprofit sector, including specific salary numbers for more than 124 job descriptions, from grant writers to HR managers to teaching assistants to counselors to cooks.