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Top 5 Reasons Why Nonprofit Positions Are Dominated By Women

Forbes contributing writer Kerry Hannon wrote an article a few years ago with an important message about women in nonprofits that bears repeating. The good news is that women dominate positions among non-profit organizations. The not-so-good news is that most of these positions are below the executive level.

In the article, Kerry referred to the 2010 Nonprofit Times list of the Top 50 leaders of nonprofit organizations. Of all those named, 66 percent were men and only 34 percent were women. While it is encouraging to see female executive leaders of nonprofits like Wendy Harman of the American Red Cross and Katrina McGhee of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure mentioned alongside Bill Gates of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, women still have work to do in order to increase their numbers at the executive levels.

Why nonprofit positions attract women

Regardless, women dominate nonprofits, and there are at least 5 good reasons why.

  • Flexible schedules
  • Increased opportunity - more women are going after these jobs than men
  • Working together - there is more collaboration when it comes to decision making at nonprofits.
  • Kinder and gentler atmosphere - since nonprofits are about helping others, egos are less of a problem at nonprofits.
  • Lower pay - let's talk about that; yes, it can be a plus.

Lower pay

An interesting fact was discussed about the lower pay that is generally the case at nonprofits. Nonprofits can represent the perfect career change for women who have been-there-done-that in the corporate rat race and want to do something that makes a difference in the lives of others. These are the women who may have even been out of the workforce for some years. They have the experience and leadership skills to offer but they want a career that can be had more on their terms now. The nonprofit sector may be just the ticket, and they are well-suited for the job.

To read the entire Forbes article, visit