Women in leadership: how does your NFP stack up?

Australia’s record on women in leadership isn’t a shining one. Despite comprising around 46 percent of the Australian workforce, women make up only a quarter of key management staff.

But what about the NFP sector? Surely for organisations dedicated to a more just and equitable world, the statistics would look a lot better?

Following International Women’s Day on March 8, we wanted to find out what proportion of women comprise the leadership and management teams of the organisations that make up our NFP People community.

If you took the time out of your busy schedule to share how many women comprise your organisation’s leadership team, thank you so much! We received a huge response to our mini-survey, reflecting how important this issue is to our community.

And we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results.

Women climbing high in NFP sector

Incredibly, more than two-thirds of respondents – 69 percent, in fact – reported that women compose at least half of their organisation’s leadership team.

And even more impressive is that almost one third of respondents reported that their organisation’s leadership team is more than 90 percent women.

…But mostly in small organisations

Sadly, this trend only held up for very small NFPs – those with a staff of 50 or fewer.

Among organisations with more than 50 staff, the number with such a high representation of women in leadership dropped down to just 14 percent.

And in organisations with more than 500 staff, men are still in charge: the number reporting a majority of women on their leadership team was just 43 percent.

The sector reporting the highest proportion of women in leadership was, perhaps unsurprisingly, women’s services – 83 percent of these organisations’ leadership teams are more than half women.

This is followed by disability organisations, with 80 percent reporting that at least half of their leadership team is female.

Coming in equal third are housing/homelessness, family services and legal/human rights organisations, with 75 percent of respondents reporting their leadership teams are composed more than half by women.

On the other end of the spectrum, less than eight percent of all respondents said their organisation’s leadership team is made up of fewer than 20 percent women – an encouraging statistic.

Interestingly, the sector that reported the lowest percentage of women in positions of leadership was health and medical research.

How does your organisation compare to others in the NFP People community? Feel free to let us know in the comments.

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