March is Women’s History Month in the United States, and March 8th was International Women’s Week. It seems appropriate to write about our profession and what our professional association has to say about women fundraisers at this time, while, of course, the issues women fundraisers have experienced are not reserved for this month alone.
AFP released its most recent findings on pay equity on March 8th (in conjunction with International Women’s Day)1. In it, it found that women fundraisers are paid 10 percent less than men for the same job positions. While this fares better than the national average of all women’s pay compared to men (which is 19 percent), it still is a gap in pay for equal work. AFP Global, as part of its commitment to adhere to the principles of IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access), has launched a series of initiatives to address IDEA, including the Women’s Impact Initiative (the other being Emerging Leaders Initiative and the Anti-Racism Initiative). As part of the Women’s Impact Initiative, AFP Global is committed to accurate and timely research, creating awareness through social media and sharing stories, educating our members, and raising women to be leaders in the profession.
There has been a lot of work already done at AFP Global. Since 2018, the AFP Women’s Impact Initiative has:
- Conducted ground-breaking research on sexual harassment and gender pay inequity in the fundraising profession;
- Created new educational materials, including fact sheets, videos, workbooks and webinars, on all aspects of gender equity and equality;
- Developed new policies and procedures for use by the association and to be used as a model for charities around the world;
- Launched mentorship, executive coaching, and cultural awareness programs to advance women’s issues; and
- Inspired thousands of women and their allies to stand up, speak out and take action as we work to create a profession that is equitable, inclusive, diverse and effective2.
Women in fundraising need the same consideration for fairness as other members of minority populations. AFP Global has given access to some amazing information and training tools for AFP members to use to increase their awareness on the need to apply IDEA in all of our lives. Below are some options for you to consider looking into:
- Unconscious Bias
- Communication Skills for Bridging a Divide:
- Inclusive Leadership Training:
While these speak to not only our need to consider women worthy of equal pay, they are powerful reminders of how easy it is to go with the status quo. Being IDEA savvy is an intentional process that must be trained into us. The question is whether we are willing to be trained outside the status quo.
While it’s good the work of women is highlighted for this month, let us not lose sight of what we hope to accomplish with equity for women in the workforce and remember that it is not women alone who still need to be noticed for inclusivity, diversity, equity and access.
Debbie Swanson, CFRE
AFP SOCO Board Member & IDEA Committee Member