How can charities ensure they work towards gender equality in their organisation?

August 3, 2017 at 15:12

 

_97001645_comp CFG has previously reported on the introduction of gender pay regulations for organisations that have at least 250 employees as of the 5th April 2017. Charities that fall into  this category have to perform a series of 6 calculations to find out your gender pay gap. These calculations must be made public on your charities website and the  government’s website.

While we are aware that the number of charities employing over 250 staff is small for the sector; the gender pay gap and gender equality legislation is not something any charity can  choose to ignore, as the BBC found out to their cost.

When the BBC published their gender pay gap, it created front page headlines, angry public responses, and stern rebukes from the BBC’s own high profile female presenters. It is clear to see, that gender pay gap and gender based discrimination is becoming an increasingly hot button issue. Even Lord Grade, ex-BBC chairman and current chair of the Fundraising Regulation, has described the BBC’s gender pay gap as “distasteful and disturbing”.

The BBC, like charities, are often high on public trust and confidence list. A poll last year found that 50% of people trusted the BBC to fulfill its statutory duty to report the news in a fair and balanced way. Most recent data from the Charity Commission shows that for charities, public trust and confidence sits slightly higher at 57%. Charities recently have faced their own challenges in maintaining the trust and confidence of the UK’s public; it has been a hard fought battle by the sector to rebuild it.

It is important that the sector does not lose this trust and confidence by falling behind on our gender pay gap and our awareness of our responsibilities under the Equalities Act. According 2017 NCVO Almanac, the charity sector’s workforce is made up of 65% women. This figure is similar to the 66% of women working in the public sector.  In the private sector, the number of women working falls down to 40%. While the charity sector have made great strides in the percentage of female CEO’s (currently stands at 58%), the sector’s gender pay gap remains similar to the national average of around 18%.

It is hard to escape the similarities that abound between with the voluntary and public sector workforce and the public’s reaction to the BBC gender pay gap scandal must act as a warning sign to charities that they cannot rely on existing trust to mitigate any anger.

The charity sector is recognised and often praised above the private sector for being a good place for women to work. It is important that an innovative and thriving sector works to reduce the gender pay gap.

To help support charities with the gender pay gap and understanding their responsibilities under the Equality Act, CFG is partnering with Russell-Cooke to provide a breakfast briefing in London on 13 September to explore the impact of gender equality legislation on charities. Find out more here.