ACEVO Pay Survey 2013: ACEVO advises sector to bridge gender pay gap and cultivate diversity

Every year ACEVO’s Pay Survey acts as a bench mark for the sectors progress. This year’s shows that there is still progresses to be made to the gender pay gap within the sector and encouraging diversity within charity boards.

The results show:

  • The pay gap between male and female CEO’s has increased to 18.6% of the median male salary compared to last year’s figure of 12.1%. Median male CEO salary has increased to £67,000 (£62,000 in 2012) compared to £54,530 for female CEO’s (£54,500 in 2012)

  • Most of the gender pay gap appears to be due to there being disproportionately fewer female leaders of large organisations and more female leaders of smaller organisations (<1m)

  • 97% of the CEOs that took part in the survey are of white ethnicity, a higher proportion than in both 2011 and 2012, although CEOs of small and medium sized organisations are more equally divided between men and women.

Figures for women working in senior management roles show:

  • Women held 55.5% of Senior Management roles in the organisations surveyed. However, they still earned 10% less on average than their male counterparts. The only SMT roles in which women earned more than their male counterparts were Policy and Research Directors and ‘other’ SMT roles despite women holding the minority of ‘other’ SMT posts.

In relation to board diversity, our results show:

  • Out of 135 chairs surveyed, we found that 68.9% were male and 31.1% female. Overall 97.3% were of white ethnicity.

  • Our results show that Sector leaders are aware of the need for diverse leadership, chairs and trustees, with 26.6% of CEO’s satisfied with board diversity and 25.9% of Chairs satisfied with board diversity.

  • This year’s survey also shows that the analysis of median CEO’s salary has increased by 3.2% from £58,139 to £60,000, bringing salaries in line with 2011 figures. However, when inflation is taken into account, this in fact represents a real-terms fall of 0.1% from 2012.

Commenting on the figures, Sir Stephen Bubb, CEO of ACEVO said, “Focus on the sector will continue to grow, so we must make sure we continue to reflect the diversity of the benefices we help in our boards as well as bridge the gender pay gap, to strengthen and grow the sector. Salaries have been brought into line with last year as boards continue to remain restrained, reflecting the fact that many charities continue to face an uncertain financial environment.”

David Fielding MBE, Director of Attenti  said: “ Many charities have been adopting to a difficult financial year, however the above results show that progress is needed in representing a diverse sector . Most Chairs and CEOs are currently unhappy with their level of diversity and ethnicity, the challenge now is for the sector to raise awareness of the under- representation of minority communities within the sectors leadership.”

For further information, contact Faye Rimdap in ACEVO’s Press Office on or 020 7014 4616

Notes to editors

ACEVO Pay Survey 2013/2014

  • The data in this report is based on the ACEVO Pay Survey 2013/2014, which collects information from Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of organisations in the third sector and from chairs of boards of trustees of organisations in the third sector.
  • There were 678 responses from CEOs and 135 from chairs, 813 in total. The majority of the response (80%) was to the online version of the questionnaire. In 2012, the sample comprised 78% of CEOs and 22% of chairs, in 2013 (this latest survey) the sample comprised 83% of CEOs and 17% of chairs.
  • ACEVO is the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations and at the forefront of the charity leaders network. For over 25 years our dedicated team have supported the network, development, organisations and resources of over 1500 charity leader members. For more information, visit
  • Attenti is the leading executive search boutique with an outstanding track record of success across the commercial, public and not for profit sectors. For more information please visit their website  or call David Fielding, Hayley Clark, Jim Banks or Anne Hayden-Ives on 020 7422 0620.