Women and the charity sector

Think tank: Pro Bono Economics

Author(s): Various authors

November 8, 2023

This report from UK think tank Pro Bono Economics looks at the significant contribution of women to the UK charity sector.

New research by PBE shines a light on the significant contribution of women to the UK charity sector and examines the under-discussed gender imbalance that holds the sector back. PBE estimates women in the sector contributed approximately £19 billion to the UK economy in 2019, as employees and volunteers. Women make up more than two-thirds (68%) of the workforce and contribute an estimated 64% of the hours worked in civil society. Nevertheless, there is an under-discussed gender imbalance in the sector – with many of the levers of decision-making power residing predominantly in male hands. Only 1 in 3 of the top 100 UK charities has a female CEO, major philanthropy is dominated by men – only 7 independent females made the 2023 Giving List – and men outnumber women on charity boards by a ratio of 2:1. This has consequences for women and the sector at large.