Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Closing the Gender Gap in Nonprofits Meeting Will Address How Women Can Retire with Confidence and Financial Security

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Closing the Gender Gap in Nonprofits Meeting Will Address How Women Can Retire with Confidence and Financial Security

Article excerpt

One of the most painful business meetings that Susan Egmont ever sat through was a lunch during which the attorney for a nonprofit instructed the executive director of the organization not to return to the office.

The executive, who had worked at the nonprofit for 34 years, wasn't being terminated. In fact, he already had announced his retirement, recalled Ms. Egmont who runs a Boston-based executive staffing firm for nonprofits.

"But three months later, he was still at work every day, saying he was doing projects or cleaning out his files," she said. "He had a pretty messy office and was cleaning it up, but he was mostly continuing to worry about the organization and all the people in it."

Such a scenario may be extreme, yet it illustrates widely held concerns among nonprofit workers and managers that they may not be able to carve out a new identity once they retire because their lives are so wrapped up with the organization's mission, Ms. Egmont said.

For women in the nonprofit sector, the anxiety can strike even deeper because many earn less than male counterparts and retirement may instill fears of financial insecurity.

Ms. Egmont will address the issue of how seasoned nonprofit leaders can make the transition from careers to full-time or part- time retirement this morning during a meeting of the Kitchen Cabinet -- a group of 150 women and men who work in for-profit, nonprofit, government and volunteer positions, and who are assisting the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University in finding solutions to shrink the gender gap in the nonprofit sector.

The Bayer Center is conducting ongoing research through a foundation-funded project, "74 Percent: Exploring the Lives of Women Leaders in Nonprofit Organizations."

The project takes its name from Bayer Center research that found that while 225,000 or about 74 percent of the 300,000 people employed in nonprofits in the Pittsburgh region are women, men consistently out-earn their female counterparts. …

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