May 8, 2023 | FAIR SHARE of Women Leaders

What’s the state of gender equity anno 2023?

Every year, we collect, analyse and publish data on the representation of women in the social impact sector’s leadership with the FAIR SHARE Monitor. So what does the data tell us this year?

Overall, we see little progress towards intersectional gender equity – but as we expand the Monitor in scope and content, we do have some new observations to share. Here are our 7 key takeaways, which you can also download as a fact sheet.

1. Women underrepresented in over half of organisations

While women make up 62% of staff, they hold only 52% of leadership positions – a slight increase from the Monitor 2022 when women in leadership was at 50%. Less than half (48%) of organisations have at least one woman as CEO – but it’s worth noting that this includes co-leadership structures with up to 30 co-CEOs.

We also found that over half (52%) of organisations do not have a FAIR SHARE of women leaders, with the average FAIR SHARE Index at 20.4. The FAIR SHARE Index measures the gap between the women on staff and women in leadership, so the ideal or perfect score is 0; organisations with an index below 15 considered to have a FAIR SHARE.

2. Less than a third of women-led organisations headed by BIWOC

Of the organisations with data on Black, Brown, Indigenous women and women of colour (BIWOC) 45% are led by women, but only 30% of these women-led organisations have a woman of colour as their CEO. The contrast in Board rooms is even starker: only 17% of women chairs are women of colour.

3. Decrease in male-dominated boards

A bit of good news: the proportion of organisations with male-dominated boards has decreased to 44% from 52% in last year’s Monitor.  This does mean that still nearly half of boards are made up of a majority of men – and only 15% of boards are gender-balanced when no gender other than man or woman was reported.

4. Committed organisations more likely to have a FAIR SHARE

65% of Committed Organisations have gender-equitable leadership, and the average FAIR SHARE Index of Committed Organisations is 13.15, well below the average Monitor 2023 Index of 20.4.

5. Co-leadership improving gender equity?

While only 16% (12 of 73) of organisations reported co-leadership (sharing the role of CEO across 2 or more people), 67% (8 of 12) of these organisations have women representing at least half of their CEOs and had a lower comparative advantage for men: 1.5 where the average for the Monitor was 1.9.

Notably, Committed Organisations represent 7 out of the 8 organisations practising co-leadership with women holding at least half of all CEO seats, representing 23% of all Committed Organisations.

6. More organisations are participating in the Monitor

Now in the fifth edition, this year’s FAIR SHARE Monitor had the largest sample size of 73 organisations and the highest participation rate in three years: 48% (35 of 73) organisations responded when we sent them the data collection survey and shared their figures with us.

7. Work to do for gender inclusion

This year, for the first time, we added a third gender option on our survey. We found that only 25% (18 organisations) provide their staff with options other than male or female for self-reporting their gender identity.

Want to know more? Explore all of the data in the FAIR SHARE Monitor 2023.

Take the next step in your gender equity journey

 Over 30 international social impact organisations like CARE International, Oxfam International and Amref Health Africa have made the FAIR SHARE Commitment. In doing so, they pledge to participate in the annual FAIR SHARE Monitor and achieve gender equity in their leadership by 2030.

Want to join this community of frontrunners to explore Feminist Leadership and gender equity together?