Charity communications professionals do not represent demographics, says report

27 Sep 2019 News

Charity communication professionals are overwhelmingly white and degree educated, according to the latest findings from CharityComms. 

The 2019 Salary and Organisational Culture Report, published by CharityComms today, surveyed 668 communication professionals from the charity sector. It found that 93 per cent of communications professionals in the sector are white, and that on average people of colour are paid less.

It also found a gender pay gap and looks at the impact of the job on professionals’ mental health.

The report suggests: “An increase in salaries across the sector will benefit diversity initiatives as those who are marginalised are less likely to be excluded through pay alone.”

The demographics

Stacey Kelly-Maher, author of the survey, said: “Quite simply our workforce doesn’t represent the demographics of the UK, never mind the communities with which we work.”

The survey also found that 92 per cent of charity communicators surveyed were educated to degree level or higher, and 93 per cent were white.

70 per cent of respondents believed people of colour are under or not represented at their charity, and a similar percentage believed disabled people are under or not represented.

Charity comms salaries

The average gender pay gap for charity comms professionals was 11 per cent, down from 14 per cent in 2017, but up from 9 per cent in 2016.

The average salary for men was £39,964 and for women was £35,694.

Between ethnicities, white men were paid an average of almost £5,000 more annually than men of colour, and white women were paid almost £1,000 more annually than women of colour.

The report says children’s charities now pay the highest average salary to charity communicators, with salaries at animal charities moving down to second place from the year before.

The lowest salaries were paid by hospices.

Impact of the job on mental health

Charity comms professionals working in events were the largest group to say their role impacted very negatively on their mental health.

Conversely, those in public affairs, policy and advocacy were the largest group to say their role impacted very positively on their mental health.

Recruitment

The report highlights examples of best practice when it comes to the wording of recruitment ads. 

An ad by Victim Support said: “We need a board that reflects and represents the people we support, the communities we work in and the voices we champion. 

“We welcome applicants from all backgrounds, experience and industries that can help us ensure we deliver the best service to all our diverse service users.” 

Several other charities, such as Leonard Cheshire and National Autistic Society, said they welcomed applications from disabled individuals and those with autism.

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