When will female leadership be reflected in the development C-suite?

By Lisa Cornish 05 January 2016

Significant changes in thought and practice will need to occur within the development sector for NGOs to build gender equality at the top level, including greater on-the-job support. Photo by: Ryan Brown / UN Women / CC BY-NC-ND

Statistics from Australia and the United States show women dominate the nongovernmental organization workforce.

In the United States, it’s estimated that as much as 75 percent of the nonprofit workforce is female, while recent statistics from the Australian Council for International Development show Australia’s NGO workforce to be 69 percent female.

But that representation still doesn’t translate to the C-suite, where men remain the dominant sex at the CEO and board level. Just 16.3 percent of nonprofits with budgets over $50 million in the United States had a female CEO in 2009, for example, according to a 2013 study by The Colorado Women’s College at the University of Denver.

6 ways women in development can break the glass ceiling

To make 2016 the most successful year to date for women in development, Devex spoke to development and career experts to collect the best tips to build confidence and career opportunities.

Devex caught up with several women from the Australian-based Women in Development group — who are working together to overcome barriers, such as a lack of flexible working conditions, and to increase networking opportunities — to find out where they think the biggest hurdles remain.

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About the author

Cornish img
Lisa Cornish@lisa_cornish

Lisa Cornish is a freelance data journalist based in Canberra, Australia. Lisa formerly worked with News Corp Australia as a data journalist for the national network and was published throughout Australia in major metropolitan and regional newspapers, including the Daily Telegraph in Melbourne, Herald Sun in Melbourne, Courier-Mail in Brisbane and online through news.com.au. Lisa has recently been awarded the 2014 Journalist of the Year by the New South Wales Institute of Surveyors.


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