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Record number of women in top charity finance roles

31 Aug 2018 News

A record number of women are now in post as finance directors at the largest 100 charities in the country, according to the latest survey from Charity Finance magazine.

Charity Finance, published by Civil Society Media, found that 31 of the directors with chief responsibility for finance at the largest 100 charities are women. The full report will be published online and in print on Monday with the September issue of the magazine.

Men hold 68 top charity finance roles, with one organisation currently recruiting.

Of course, this still shows that there are more than double the number of male finance directors than female at big voluntary organisations.

However, this is a higher number of women in finance roles than in previous years.

Previously, the largest number of women in top charity finance roles was 25, recorded in the 2008 survey, with even fewer recorded in the years since.

The current gender balance of top charity finance directors is similar to that of chief executives.

Charity Finance research last year revealed that 27 charities had female chief executives, which was also the highest number for a decade.

Few BAME finance directors

Of the 69 finance directors who gave their ethnicity, 64 gave their ethnicity as either British, Caucasian British, English, White British, White Non-British, White Irish or White European.

The remaining five, representing 7 per cent, described themselves as British Asian, British Pakistani, Chinese, Indian, and mixed Caribbean and Irish.

This compares to 14 per cent of people in the UK as a whole identifying as non-white, though the figure will be a bit lower in the age group that FDs typically fall into.

Meanwhile, the average age of a finance director in a top 100 charity has increased to 52 years and two months, from 50 years and 11 months in 2016.

Of those FDs that disclosed their ages, only four are 40 or under, compared to six last time. Similarly, there are 19 FDs aged 47 and under, compared to 22 last time.

The 2016 survey showed a majority of younger FDs were women, but this trend has reversed in 2018.

Transient role

It is also worth noting the transient nature of the charity finance director role.

Some 41 respondents have been in their role for two years or less. This makes it plausible that the figures will have again changed significantly by the next survey in 2020.

However, at the other end of the spectrum, 10 respondents have been in position for 10 years or more.

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