Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Women Are Undervalued Pittsburgh Nonprofits Rely on Women but Pay Them Less Than Men

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Women Are Undervalued Pittsburgh Nonprofits Rely on Women but Pay Them Less Than Men

Article excerpt

This article was submitted by executive directors Sylvia V. Fields of the Eden Hall Foundation, Rebecca Lucore of the BayerUSA Foundation and Peggy Morrison Outon of the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University.

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The Pittsburgh region is characterized by the strength of its nonprofit community. Nearly 300,000 people work every day to see that our region is just, decent and fair. Nonprofit employees not only feed the hungry and assure compassionate relief after a disaster, they also teach your children, visit your elderly parent, clean up the stream that runs by your house and bring the arts alive all over town. The vast majority of these employees -- about 225,000 -- are women.

Since 2000, the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University has conducted a biennial wage and benefit survey with the United Way of Allegheny County. Over the past 12 years, the findings have revealed a persistent and troubling truth. Women, who make up 74 percent of the local nonprofit workforce, are consistently underpaid and far less likely than men to lead the larger organizations.

This pay gap pervades the local nonprofit community, regardless of the size, services or staff qualifications of the organization. Women earn approximately 74 cents on the dollar earned by their male counterparts.

This has been confirmed by data from the annual IRS tax forms required of all nonprofit organizations. Interviews with more than 35 women working for nonprofit organizations further confirm that local nonprofits routinely reward the performance of male employees disproportionately.

One problem is that women don't ask for justifiable pay increases. Sometimes, women lack active champions among executives or board members. More often, human resources management is the last place nonprofit leaders and their boards invest time or money to develop better practices. …

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