Over the last 12 months increasing attention has been drawn to the lack of diversity at both senior leadership and board level in charities. This includes reports by Inclusive Boards and a number of opinion pieces in the sector press.

For the second year running ACEVO has extended its annual pay survey to include questions about diversity at CEO level. The survey has yet again found no increase in the percentage of black and minority ethnic voluntary sector CEOs. When ACEVO first published ethnicity data in 2008 4.2% of respondents reported being from a BAME background. In this year’s survey the figure was 3%. 

Our Vision

Civil society leaders should be representative of the communities they operate in and the people they support. Anyone who seeks to become a civil society leader, or who is currently a leader, should have the same opportunities for career development.


Our 2018 Pay and equalities survey examined the diversity of the sector in greater detail, the report can be found here.

Ours is not the first or only report to find a lack of racial diversity in civil society leadership and the sector must now collectively prioritise action to break down the barriers and bias that exist within the voluntary sector.

ACEVO has met with a group of sector leaders to discuss practical steps we can take to improve racial diversity in senior leadership. A summary of the discussion and our next steps can be read here.

In July 2018 ACEVO and Institute of Fundraising asked civil society leaders to commit to a set of 8 principles to address the diversity deficit in the charity sector. You can read the report and sign up to the principles here.

If you are interested in being part of this work, please contact Kristiana Wrixon.