Pay Gap Continues at Nonprofits Women Executives Earn 82 Percent of Men's Salaries, Local Survey Says

By Gannon, Joyce | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA), February 1, 2019 | Go to article overview

Pay Gap Continues at Nonprofits Women Executives Earn 82 Percent of Men's Salaries, Local Survey Says


Gannon, Joyce, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)


Gender pay disparity continues to persist for women who lead nonprofits in the Pittsburgh region.

The top female executives at those organizations earn, on average, 82 percent of the salaries paid to males in the top jobs, according to a survey by the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University.

When the last survey was conducted in 2017, women earned 81 cents on the dollar compared with their male counterparts.

The slight change in the pay gap between men and women "is very dismaying," said Peggy Morrison Outon, executive director at the Bayer Center.

"It's still unjust that there is an 18-cent difference for doing the same job."

The Bayer Center has conducted the biennial survey on wages and benefits since 2002 as a tool to help nonprofits determine compensation for executives and new staff.

Besides salaries, it tracks benefits that nonprofits provide for their workers, such as insurance, retirement plans and paid time off.

This newest report, released Friday, includes data from 188 nonprofits in 10 southwestern Pennsylvania counties that employ a total of about 13,000 workers. The majority of nonprofits, 83 percent, were in Allegheny County.

Nonprofits that responded to the survey range from tiny organizations with annual budgets under $50,000 to large, prominent groups such as United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Not surprisingly for a sector that has long been dominated by a female workforce, 74 percent of employees at local nonprofits surveyed are female and 58 percent have female executive directors.

When the survey was introduced in 2002, female nonprofit executives earned, on average, 67 percent of what men earned.

"There is progress, but it's incremental and too slow," Ms. Outon said.

Jessie Ramey, director of the Women's Institute at Chatham University and chair of Pittsburgh's Gender Equity Commission, said the survey "demonstrates that women continue to face multiple barriers to pay equity in our region . even in the nonprofit sector where women have historically been well-represented."

Reasons it's tough to close the pay gap, Ms. Ramey said, include an absence of paid family leave laws in most states, including Pennsylvania; cultural factors that place a disproportionate share of child care on some women; and implicit bias about hiring and promoting women.

"We have years of evidence now showing that more women in leadership positions can improve organizational effectiveness and bottom lines, yet the wage gap has barely budged," she said.

Gains at larger nonprofits

There is evidence of some gains for women at local nonprofits, said Carrie Tancraitor, associate director of the Bayer Center and lead researcher for the survey. …

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