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Pay and Equalities Survey 2023: an overview

This year’s Pay and Equalities Survey collected 846 responses from voluntary sector CEOs. The findings are based on a non-representative sample and does not wholly reflect the entire sector. ACEVO’s policy and influencing officer Shareen Patel provides an overview of the results.

Charities and voluntary organisations continue to struggle as the cost-of-living crisis rises alongside unprecedented economic pressures that impact not only the operations of an organisation but also their ability to attract and retain paid-for staff and volunteers. Overall, the report does not paint too great of a picture regarding CEO pay and processes, working conditions or level of race equity amongst our sector’s leadership. There is also the continued problem of a lack of formal salary reviews taking place regularly, and just under half of the sample were satisfied with the chair and board’s support for investing time and resources in CEO development.

While all areas covered within the report are of the same importance, what has struck me the most is the lack of professional development opportunities and progress on diversity and representation. If we want charity leaders to make the change they seek to make through their organisations, they need as much support as possible. Bigger strides towards strengthening equality, diversity, and inclusion amongst leadership in the sector are required. Moreover, if we want to improve the key areas that this year’s report covers more widely, we have to start by solving them within our sector first. I think there’s the bigger picture of us working collectively to remove the barriers and disadvantages many in our sector still face. Without addressing these things first, it is then that civil society leaders have the space to make the difference they can.

There were, however, some positive trends, including a modest increase in the median annual basic salary and a narrowing of the gender pay gap. However, alongside lower pensions and fewer professional development opportunities for women, there is still a lot more work to do to remove the gender imbalance that persists.

Nevertheless, despite this somewhat bleak picture, over 80% of the sample would still recommend the sector as a place to work, and over 70% see themselves still working in the sector over five years.

You can purchase the full report (£40 for members and £70 for non-members) on the website.

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