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Survey: Men Still Out-Earn Women at Nonprofit Organizations

Friday, January 25, 2013

Pittsburgh – Women at the highest levels of nonprofit organizations in the Pittsburgh region continue to be paid less than their male counterparts, though the gap is slowly closing, according to a survey of nonprofit organizations.

United Way of Allegheny County and the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University presented survey data Friday from the 2012 Wage and Benefit Survey of Southwestern Pennsylvania Nonprofit Organizations. The survey shows that while women represent a majority of employees at nonprofit organizations, women who hold the top job at their organizations only make about 74 cents for every dollar earned by men in the same role. When the biennial survey first was conducted in 2002, female executive directors earned about 67 percent of what men earned.

“A disproportionate number of men hold the top job in the largest organizations, making the highest salaries and exercising the greatest influence on policy," said Peggy Outon, executive director of the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management.

The gap in pay between men and women at nonprofit organizations is the subject of an ongoing Bayer Center research and community outreach project, “74%: Exploring the Lives of Women in Nonprofits.” The goal of the project is to continue to narrow that wage gap and provide successful career models for women in nonprofit organizations. The 74% initiative is funded by the Eden Hall Foundation and the Bayer USA Foundation.

Women are executive directors at 64 percent of the 153 nonprofit organizations in the region that participated in the 2013 survey. Overall, 74 percent of all employees at those organizations are women. The organizations that participated in the survey employ more than 10,000 workers.

“There is a pay equity gap in all positions within the nonprofit workforce,” said Outon.

Another eye-opening finding from the survey was the number of employees at many nonprofit organizations who are paid so little that they are eligible for public assistance. Sixteen percent of organizations reported that one or more full-time employees qualified for public assistance; on average, 10 percent of employees at those organizations are eligible for public assistance benefits. Considering the full-time workforce of all survey participants, employees eligible for public assistance represent 2 percent of the entire nonprofit workforce.

“The nonprofit sector exists to serve the poor. We now know, for sure, that some of the working poor work for nonprofit organizations,” Outon said.

The Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University was founded in 1999 to provide the necessary tools for nonprofit organizations to effectively manage and compete in today's society. The center works with clients to assure that the money invested from public and private sources is efficiently and effectively spent to advance their charitable mission. The center offers consulting services and workshops in many areas including: board development, business planning, collaboration and alliances, financial management, fund development, organizational effectiveness, technology planning, and other management topics. For more information, go to

United Way of Allegheny County is a change agent and efficient community fundraiser that improves lives by addressing critical community needs. By convening diverse partners and investing in programs and people to advance solutions, United Way creates long-lasting change and helps children and youth succeed, strengthens and supports families by promoting financial stability, ensures the safety and well-being of vulnerable seniors, and provides county-wide access to information and referral sources meeting basic needs.  For more information go  to