FAIR SHARE
Monitor 2023

Around the world, hundreds of international social impact organisations are working towards equity and justice. However, the underrepresentation of women in the social impact sector’s leadership reflects a gap between the sector’s aspirations and its own internal structures and culture.

That’s why we built the FAIR SHARE Monitor: to annually measure the proportion of women on staff and in leadership in the largest and most well-known international organisations. In doing so, we aim to create awareness on the gender gap that exists in the sector’s leadership and foster change towards achieving a FAIR SHARE of women leaders by 2030.

About the FAIR SHARE Monitor 

The FAIR SHARE Monitor is a data-based tool that measures and tracks gender equity in the international social impact sector. Based on data we either receive from organisations or research for them, we create a ranking of organisations based on their FAIR SHARE Index, the gap between women on staff and women in leadership. The progress, stagnation or regress of each organisation is measured and made transparent from year to year – making the FAIR SHARE Monitor a tool with which both individual organisations and the sector can hold themselves accountable to gender equity.

For the fifth consecutive year, the FAIR SHARE Monitor has tracked the representation of women in the international social impact sector. While our findings are making increasingly apparent that women’s representation in the sector’s leadership has changed little over the years, we are starting to observe a slow yet encouraging shift in organisations’ behaviour with regards to the Monitor. An increasing number of organisations are opting for transparency and actively participating in the FAIR SHARE Monitor, a crucial step for accountability to and ultimately achieving gender equity in the sector.

Overview of the FAIR SHARE Monitor 2023

The process

For this 5th edition of the FAIR SHARE Monitor, 82 organisations from the social impact sector were invited to share data on the gender breakdown of their staff and leadership. 

For organisations from which we did not receive data, we researched this information on public websites and shared our findings to give them a chance to amend or confirm our research. 

For organisations that do not actively participate in the Monitor and for which we are able to find data, we assume a proportion of 70% of women on staff. We add a symbol in the ranking to make transparent which organisations did or didn’t confirm their data.

82 international social impact organisations invited to take part in the FAIR SHARE Monitor 2023

When we are unable to find sufficient gender information on organisations that do not share their data with us, we remove these organisations from our analysis to protect the quality of the data we do have and paint as accurate a picture as possible of the representation of women in the sector.

This year, 8 organisations were removed from the Monitor for lack or insufficient gender data, bringing the total of organisations in the FAIR SHARE Monitor 2023 to 73 organisations representing over 275 000 employees.

Which data do we collect in the FAIR SHARE Monitor?

Total staff
Women on staff
BIWoC on staff
Women on Senior Management Team
Women on Board
BIWoC on SMT and Board
Visibility of non-binary and gender-diverse staff
Gender or anti-discrimination policy

Previously monitored vs new

New in the FAIR SHARE Monitor

In our efforts to make the Monitor a more intersectional tool for the sector, we started measuring the representation of Black, Brown, Indigenous Women and Women of Colour (BIWoC) in the Monitor 2021 in a bid to make more apparent the inequities that lay at the intersection of race and gender. This year, we furthered our efforts by making the Monitor more gender-inclusive. While our definition of the term ‘woman’ has always been trans-inclusive, for the first time, we explicitly included non-binary as a gender option in the Monitor survey. By doing so, we aim to address the erasure of non-binary and gender-diverse staff in the social impact sector as well as in our own monitoring practices.

We are aware of the challenges that lay ahead as we strive to make non-binary and gender-diverse staff more visible in our monitoring. Consequently, we are continuously working with members of the gender-diverse community to ensure that our data collection and reporting processes remain safe for gender-diverse folks in the sector.

Still a long way to go for a gender-inclusive sector

Of the 73 organisations included in the Monitor this year, only 25% (18 organisations) reported providing options such as non-binary and other as possible gender identification options for their staff. 

It’s important to note that data on gender-diverse staff alone isn’t an indication of safety and inclusivity for members of this community in our sector. But as we expand our data collection on gender-diverse staff over the years, we hope to make more visible their erasure from the sector and inspire more organisations, and the sector at large, to be more gender-inclusive. 

Gender inclusivity in the social impact sector

Slow and steady progress towards transparency

This year, the FAIR SHARE Monitor included the largest number of organisations to date, with a total of 73 international social impact organisations and a 48% participation rate, representing 35 organisations actively sharing their data with us.

While this participation rate is a notable progress from the Monitor 2022, and represents the highest participation rate in three years, it remains well below what is needed to address the gender disparities that undermine the social impact sector’s aspirations of equity and justice.

We acknowledge that several barriers may hinder organisations’ capacities to share their data with us, and we are committed to continue refining our processes to improve international organisations’ experience with the FAIR SHARE Monitor. This year, we are partnering with the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation as a member of their Data Accelerator programme to deepen our work to make the Monitor a valuable tool for transformation in the sector.

Highest participation in three years

More organisations participating in the Monitor 

Social impact sector still not walking the talk on gender equity

Consistent with past years’ trends, women still make up the majority of the sector’s workforce, with an average of 62% of women employees. Yet they are still not represented with similar numbers in leadership. In fact, this year, women make up 52% of the sector’s leadership, a slight increase from the Monitor 2022 where women leadership was at 50%.

Women’s representation in the social impact sector

Women’s representation in the social impact sector

How much longer until an equitable representation of women in the sector?

Less than half of organisations led by women

This year, the Monitor captured more organisations with women CEOs. Out of 73 organisations, 48% (35 organisations) have at least one woman CEO. While this is an encouraging upward trend for the past three years, it still represents less than half organisations. It is also worth noting that this figure is inclusive of organisations with a co-leadership structure and doesn’t shed light on gender equity within those structures.

Gender-balanced Senior Management Teams, or SMTs with an equal proportion of women and men when no other gender was reported, are still rare, representing only 14% of all organisations. However, an encouraging trend is that men-dominated Senior Management Teams are on the decline, going from 48% in the Monitor 2022 to 38% in the Monitor 2023.

Less than half of organisations led by women

Even fewer Boards chaired by women

While the proportion of Boards chaired by women has remain relatively constant over the years, at 45% in the Monitor 2023 compared to 44% in the Monitor 2022, we are observing an interesting downward trend in men’s overrepresentation in organisations’ boards: the proportion of organisations with men-dominated boards has declined from 52% to 44% in the last two years.

Even fewer Boards chaired by women

Efforts still needed for a FAIR SHARE of women leaders

The FAIR SHARE Index measures the gap between the proportion of women on staff and the proportion of women in leadership. As such, the lower the index, the more fairly women are represented in an organisation. For an organisation to have a FAIR SHARE, women must represent at least 50% of the organisation’s staff and leadership.

While the perfect FAIR SHARE Index would be 0, meaning that women represent at least 50% of an organisation’s bodies and that no gap exists between their proportion in staff and in leadership, we define a desirable FAIR SHARE as an index of 15 or lower. 

In the Monitor 2023, the average FAIR SHARE Index is 20.4, with 52% of organisations having an unequitable representation of women.

This was further broken down to give a more accurate picture of women’s representation depending on an organisation’s staff size. 

Organisation Size Key

  • XS: 1 – 24 employees
  • S: 25 – 99 employees
  • M: 100 – 249 employees
  • L: 250 – 999 employees
  • XL: 1000 – 4999 employees
  • XXL: 5000+ employees

Women under-represented in over half of organisations

Organisation’ size and women representation: a closer look

Overall, the average FAIR SHARE Index has been decreasing over the years, alongside men’s comparative advantage in the sector. Indeed, in the Monitor 2023, a man’s chance of occupying a leadership position is 1.9 times higher than a woman, a slight decline from the Monitor 2022 where it was 2 times higher.

Women still unfairly represented in the social impact sector

However, it is important to acknowledge that as the overall number of organisations included in the Monitor as well as the participation rate increases, a decreasing average FAIR SHARE Index does not necessarily illustrate progress in the sector. Rather, this may reflect an improvement in data quality; put another way, as our sample grows, the Monitor can paint a more accurate picture of women’s representation in leadership.

Co-leadership: The less travelled path

In the Monitor 2022, we measured co-leadership in the social impact sector for the first time since the Monitor’s inception and found that 8% of organisations led by women practiced co-leadership in their management culture. In the Monitor 2023, assessing organisations who practice co-leadership irrespective of gender revealed that overall, 16% of organisations (12 organisations) have more than one CEO. 

Breaking down that figure indicates that co-leadership may be promising for gender equity: when organisations do choose to distribute the CEO or ED position across more than one person, women have higher chances of being represented, with men’s comparative advantage dropping to 1.5 and an average FAIR SHARE Index of 15.38. 

Indeed, 8 out of the 12 organisations that reported having co-leadership in their structure have women representing at least half of their CEOs. While these 8 organisations only represent 11% of all organisations in the Monitor 2023, with an average FAIR SHARE Index of 13.26 and a comparative advantage at 1.5, gender-equitable co-leadership might be paving a way for the change we are striving for in the social impact sector.

Co-leadership: The less travelled path

No gender equity without racial equity

This year, the number of organisations with data on Black, Brown, Indigenous Women and Women of Colour (BIWoC) in their staff has increased to 51 organisations, representing 70% of all organisations. Of these 51 organisations, women occupy 49% of all leadership positions; of this 49%, BIWoC hold 33% of leadership positions, reflecting no significant change from the past two years.

BIWoC under-represented among women leaders

Little change in BIWoC leadership

A further breakdown of BIWoC leadership in the sector shows that while 23 out of all organisations with BIWoC data (45%) are led by women, only 30% of these women-led organisations have a woman of colour as their CEO. The contrast in Board rooms is even starker as out of the 23 organisations with women chairs (45% of organisations with BIWoC data), only 17% (4 organisations) are chaired by a woman of colour.

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

Too few Boards chaired by women of colour

Central to our commitment to making the FAIR SHARE Monitor more intersectional is the acknowledgement that overlapping factors keep women out of leadership roles. The racial gap uncovered by these findings over the past 3 years must be a wake-up call for the sector: we will not achieve gender equity in the social impact sector unless we address the intersecting issues that impact the experiences of all women working in the sector.

Committed Organisations closer to a FAIR SHARE

This year, the number of organisations who committed to achieve gender equity by 2030 rose to 31, representing a 15% increase from 2022. 65% of these organisations have a FAIR SHARE of women in their leadership, putting the average FAIR SHARE Index of Committed Organisations at 13.15, considerably below the desirable FAIR SHARE Index of 15, and even lower than the average Monitor 2023 Index of 20.4.

Majority of committed organisations have a FAIR SHARE of women leaders

With an average proportion of women on staff of 60% and an average proportion of women in leadership of 59%, the Committed Organisations community is not only closer to modelling gender equitable leadership, but also more likely to venture into less traditional forms of leadership. Indeed, Committed Organisations represent 7 out of the 8 organisations practicing co-leadership with women holding at least half of all CEO seats, which is 23% of all Committed Organisations.

With the number of Committed Organisations and their proportion of women leaders increasing over the years, these figures are an encouraging sign for gender equity in our sector. However, the disparities in women’s representation among committed organisations is also worth noting, with the lowest FAIR SHARE Index at 0.24, and the highest at 67.43.

They have committed to gender equity

Committed Organisations represent 42% of the organisations in the Monitor. Sign the FAIR SHARE Commitment and join over 30 of your peers in their efforts to achieve gender equity in the sector by 2030.

Organisations that signed FAIR SHARE Commitment

Organisations that signed FAIR SHARE Commitment

FAIR SHARE Monitor 2023 Ranking

The social impact sector is doing remarkable work to foster equity and justice, but this ambition is not always evident in international organisations internal leadership structures and cultures. By annually measuring the representation of women in the sector and making transparent where organisations are in their journey towards gender equity, the FAIR SHARE Monitor aims to increase accountability and foster change to achieve this goal. 

With an average FAIR SHARE Index of 20.4, the international social impact sector still has a long way to go to truly walk the talk of equity and justice, but we hope that the findings below can be a starting point to address gender inequity and further efforts to improve equity in each organisation.

Data on gender equality

Symbols Key

✅ – Active participation in Monitor

✳️ – Committed organisation

⚠️ – Women staff estimated at 70% due to insufficient gender data

⛔ – Organisation has unsubscribed from Monitor mailing list.

🟢 – 10% decrease in Fair Share Index since last monitored year (progress)

🔴 – 10% increase in Fair Share Index since last monitored year (regress)

🟡 – No significant change in Fair Share Index since last monitored year

➕ – Organisation newly added to the Monitor

Organisation Size Key
  • XS: 1 – 24 employees
  • S: 25 – 99 employees
  • M: 100 – 249 employees
  • L: 250 – 999 employees
  • XL: 1000 – 4999 employees
  • XXL: 5000+ employees
RankOrganisationSizeWomen in staffWomen in leadershipProportion of BIWOC in women leadershipFAIR SHARE Index 2023
1CIVICUS ✳️ ✅S77%76%77%0.24 🟢
2Global Witness ✳️ ⚠️M70%71%50%0.71 🟡
3Greenpeace InternationalXL49%50%N/A0.78 🟡
4HelpAge International ✳️ ✅L60%59%38%0.91 🟢
5Article 19 ✳️ ✅M69%71%N/A1.04 🟢
6Girls Not Brides ✳️ ✅S92%90%67%2.11 ➕
7350.org ✳️ ✅M60%65%18%2.35 🔴
8International Planned Parenthood Federation ✅L68%73%68%2.60 🟢
9Sightsavers ✳️ ✅L50%50%45%2.64 🔴
10Caplor Horizons ✳️ ✅XS67%64%43%3.03 ➕
11Hivos International ✅L60%67%N/A3.44 🟢
12Danish Refugee CouncilXXL47%49%N/A3.56 🟡
13Oxfam International ✳️ ✅M56%64%N/A4.03 🟢
14Pact ✳️M73%83%50%5.03 🟡
15Frontline Aids ✳️S59%70%N/A5.37 🟡
16Skateistan ✳️ ✅S51%63%50%5.95 🔴
17WeMove Europe ✳️ ✅S57%70%N/A6.43 🔴
18CARE International ✳️ ✅XXL42%48%N/A6.57 🟢
19Restless Development ✳️ ✅M46%57%15%6.98 🟢
20Norweigan Refugee Council ✅XXL40%47%N/A8.22 🟡
21EngenderHealth ✳️ ✅M45%57%40%8.46 🔴
22The Nature ConservancyL53%47%24%8.47 🟡
23Wikimedia FoundationL47%63%30%8.83 🟡
24World Vision InternationalXXL43%45%47%9.11 🟡
25Room to Read ⚠️XL70%61%43%9.13 🟡
26Amnesty International ✳️ ✅L68%58%N/A9.65 🟢
27Christian Aid  ✳️ ✅L43%59%40%9.91 🔴
28Save the Children International ✅XXL39%54%50%10.68 🟢
29Population Council ⚠️L70%59%46%10.88 ➕
30World Resources Institute ✅XL56%47%25%11.71 ➕
31International Child Development Initiatives ✳️ ✅XS88%75%N/A12.50 ➕
32AMREF Health Africa ✳️L39%50%43%12.84 🔴
32Church World Services ⚠️XL70%57%N/A12.84 ➕
33Mercy Corps ✳️ ✅XXL37%56%45%13.73 🔴
34Pathfinder International ⚠️XL70%55%44%14.83 ➕
35The B Team ✳️ ✅XS80%67%N/A15.19 🔴
36Heifer International ⚠️M70%54%N/A15.95 🟢
37Well Grounded ✳️ ✅XS36%60%0%16.90 ➕
38VSO ✳️ ✅L34%50%33%17.41 🔴
39Habitat for Humanity ✳️ ✅L67%50%28%18.35 🟢
40Reporters Without BordersS61%45%14%18.96 🟢
41Friends of the Earth InternationalS78%58%N/A19.44 🟡
42Democracy Reporting International ✳️ ✅S51%40%N/A19.75 🔴
43Human Rights Watch ⚠️L70%51%29%19.77 🟡
44One Acre Fund ✳️ ✅XXL44%37%70%20.06 🟡
45International Rescue CommitteeXXL48%39%N/A21.23 🟡
46BRAC International ✳️ ✅XXL78%57%N/A21.32 🔴
47Ashoka ⚠️M70%50%33%22.08 🟡
48Partners in Health ⚠️XXL70%48%26%22.43 🟡
49European Environmental Bureau ✅S68%46%N/A23.72 🔴
50WWF International ⚠️XL70%48%N/A24.55 🟡
51Terre des hommes International Federation ✳️ ✅XS100%75%N/A25.00 🔴
52The Hunger Project ⚠️L70%50%60%25.64 ➕
53Search for Common Ground ⚠️L70%45%15%28.54 🟡
54SOS Children's Villages ⚠️XL70%44%27%29.03 🟢
55Handicap International (Humanity & Inclusion) ⚠️XL70%45%N/A29.77 ➕
56Transparency International ✳️ ✅M62%38%22%32.50 🔴
57ONE ✳️ ✅M70%39%38%35.88 🔴
58ActionAid International ⚠️XL70%50%100%36.66 🟡
59Islamic Relief WorldwideL31%20%100%39.39 🟡
60ACTED ⚠️XXL70%38%11%39.91 🟡
61Finn Church Aid ⚠️L70%47%N/A40.00 🟡
62Conservation International ⚠️L70%41%N/A40.24 ➕
63Landesa ⚠️XXL70%38%N/A41.72 🟡
64Red Cross International Committee ⚠️XXL70%35%11%46.91 🟡
65Project HOPE ⚠️L70%33%N/A48.39 ➕
66Médecins Sans Frontières ⚠️XXL70%40%33%49.05 🟡
67Concern Worldwide ⚠️XL70%40%13%49.30 🟡
68CBM Christoffel-Blindenmission Christian Blind Mission e.V. ✅ L54%22%N/A50.91 🔴
69Action Against Hunger ⚠️XXL70%29%33%54.76 🟡
70Catholic Relief Services ⚠️XXL70%27%44%55.56 🟡
71ADRA International ✳️ ✅M53%13%71%67.43 🔴
72AmfAR (Foundation for AIDS Research) ⚠️S70%19%17%69.64 ➕

Your feedback is important to us!

Did you find the FAIR SHARE Monitor 2023 insightful? Any concerns or suggestions you would like to share with us? Send your feedback in the contact form below or email us directly: monitor@fairsharewl.org. We look forward to hearing from you!

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