Just 3 per cent of charity chief executives are from a BAME background

23 Jan 2017 News

Acevo has called on the charity sector to do more to improve diversity after its pay survey found that just 3 per cent of charity chief executives are from a BAME background. 

The charity leaders’ network has published findings from its annual pay survey today and is recommending that the sector consider a version of the ‘Rooney Rule’ – meaning that when recruiting for a chief executive, all shortlists should include someone from a black, Asian or minority ethinic background.

Across the UK population as a whole, around 14 per cent are from a BAME background. 

Meanwhile, women outnumber men for the first time since Acevo began the survey. They now hold 58 per cent of chief executive posts. 

Asheem Singh, interim chief executive of Acevo, said: “I am pleased that the sector’s work on gender equality is beginning to pay off. Acevo’s women leaders’ special interest group has been a force for good for some years and I hope it will continue into the future.

“The issue of race, however, remains shamefully under-discussed. For far too long it has been in the ‘irrelevant or too difficult’ box. Few have been prepared to interrogate and challenge the barriers to entry, for fear of rocking the boat. The sector can no longer sit on its hands and hope the issue resolves itself. 

“Consideration should be given now to radical new ideas, such as an adaptation of the ‘Rooney Rule’, as applied to head coaches in the American National Football League, which guarantees charities will interview at least one minority ethnic candidate for a vacant CEO position.”

Charity chief executive salaries fall again  

Elsewhere, the median average salary for charity chief executives has fallen to £50,000, down from £55,500 in 2015 and £60,000 two years ago. 

Furthermore, median pay at charities with an income of less than £1m is down by £2,000 and for charities with an income of more than £15m it was down by more than £5,000. Acevo said this is a “sure sign of belt-tightening”.

Some 473 chief executive members of Acevo, and its equivalents in Scotland and Northern Ireland (ACOSVO and CO3), contributed to the Acevo Pay and Equalities Survey 2016, which was run by invitation online. The survey ran online from 28 September to 24 October 2016.


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