'Shamefully small' number of BAME charity leaders, finds Acevo survey

05 Feb 2018 News

The charity sector has failed to significantly increase the proportion of chief executives coming from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, according to Acevo’s latest Pay and Equalities survey.

Some 95 per cent of chief executives that responded to the umbrella body's 2018 survey were from white backgrounds. Although this was a slight dip from the 97 per cent received in the 2017 survey, the figure is similar to when Acevo first published ethnicity data in 2008. Then, 4.2 per cent of respondents reported being from a BAME background.

Vicky Browning, chief executive of Acevo, said: “This year’s Pay and Equalities Survey has yet again found that a shamefully small number of civil society CEOs are from a black and minority ethnic background.

“This figure has remained pretty much static since we started publishing pay and equality data, and it will not change unless CEOs and boards collectively prioritise taking actions to break down the barriers and bias that exist within the sector. Every charity CEO and individual in a position of power should be asking themselves: what am I doing to enable the development of a more diverse sector?”

The data was drawn from the contributions of 540 third sector chief executives last year. This was up from 473 responses in the previous year's survey. The report was produced in association with the Charities Aid Foundation and supported by ACOSVO in Scotland and C03 in Northern Ireland. 

For the second year running, more female than male respondents were represented in the survey. A total of 57 percent of respondents were female, and 42 per cent were male. This compares to 58 per cent and 40 per cent last year.

Fall in gender pay gap

The overall pay gap between male and female chief executives respondents is now 3.8 per cent, significantly less than that found in previous years. Last year’s survey found a pay gap of 11.6 per cent, which was itself a considerable fall from previous years.

The median annual basic salary reported by third sector chief executives is £50,000, consistent with last year's figure and down from £55,500 in 2014.

The age profile of sector chief executives has remained fairly consistent over time, with the majority of respondents (37 per cent) falling into the 45-64 categories.

The survey also finds that almost a quarter (23 per cent) of Acevo’s chief executives have been in role for over ten years, and over a quarter of chief executives do not have regular appraisals. It also shows that 92 per cent of charity chief executives received no bonus.

Around a fifth of chief executives were appointed from a senior or other position in their current organisation, while a larger proportion came from a senior position in another third sector organisation (44 per cent).

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