Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business


Female CSR practitioners earn less than the men

March 2009

Suggestions of a gender divide in the corporate responsibility profession appear to have been confirmed by the second annual CSR salary survey, published last month.
The 2008/9 study, produced by Ethical Performance in conjunction with Acona consultancy and the Acre Resources recruitment agency, shows not only that, for a second year, women are likely to earn less and fill lower-ranking positions than men, but also that certain CSR areas of activity have a gender bias.

While the survey of more than 350 practitioners does not provide definitive evidence on whether men and women get equal pay for equal work, it does show that  women still struggle for earning power compared with their male counterparts.

Despite the fact that more women appear to work in the sector – 62 per cent of respondents were female and 38 per cent male – women occupied only 49 per cent of director level jobs and accounted for only 33 per cent of those earning £100,000 a year or more. Likewise they were over-represented among jobs that commanded the smallest salaries of £40,000 or under – accounting for 78 per cent of those in that bracket.

The study also revealed that women are far more likely to work in certain areas than men – notably the community and charitable giving sphere, where 81 per cent were female. By contrast, men dominated the environment and climate change fields despite their fewer numbers – accounting for 56 per cent of those who nominated those areas as an activity.

Sue Slipman, director of the Foundation Trust Network and a former head of CSR at Camelot, said the results were ‘depressing’ for women, as they suggested that ‘the walk-the-talk ethos of CSR doesn’t reflect in the gender division of either seniority or pay levels of practitioners’.

She added: ‘Men stride around climate change in big boots saving the planet, while women stay home, communicate with people and do the “soft” community stuff. You couldn’t make it up.’

Bethany Cox, marketing manager at Acre, told EP: ‘Despite this year’s results showing a numerical dominance of female CSR professionals, it would seem that corporate responsibility is still following the trend set by other sectors with female salaries significantly lower than their male counterparts.  Although this is no surprise, it’s disappointing to see that a sector with such a strong emphasis on social equality has failed to find its own gender equality.’

Ethical Performance | UK & NI Ireland | Equality


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