Women Leaders of Jewish Non-Profits Remain Scarce Even as Pay Gap Narrows

First Ever Analysis of Salaries Explains Pay Gap

kurt hoffman

By Maia Efrem and Jane Eisner

Published December 15, 2013, issue of December 27, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

In the five years since the Forward began publishing an annual list of leadership and compensation at the largest Jewish national not-for-profit organizations, a theme has emerged: The very few women leading these organizations are paid far less than their male colleagues, and the overall numbers haven’t budged significantly.

This year, there are still only 10 women leaders among the 74 organizational executives, a paltry 13.5%, and there’s still the same gender gap in pay, with women earning about 66 cents for every dollar earned by the men in the upper echelons of Jewish communal power.

Now, a first-ever analysis conducted for the Forward by independent experts has found that some of the pay gap is caused by the fact that women are concentrated in smaller organizations, which tend to pay their CEOs lower salaries. The analysis also found that the pay gap has narrowed over time, but it was unable to quantify why the gap continues to exist at all.

The analysis, led by Abraham Wyner, a professor of statistics at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, created a model to predict the salaries of executives based on the size of their organizations, taking into account the number of employees and the amount of expenditures. This sort of compensation analysis is standard for evaluating the fairness of not-for-profit executive pay.

Who Earns What? Click Here To See All of the Salaries

The Wharton analysis shows that the gender gap in pay narrowed: In 2009, women earned about 73 cents for every dollar earned by men; in this year’s survey they earn 81 cents, when controlling for organizational size. The change was largely due to the recent inclusion in the survey of a handful of women who are being paid slightly more than predicted using the Wharton model — topped by the highest-paid woman on the list, Janice Weinman, executive director and CEO of Hadassah. Otherwise, women’s salaries grew at a slower rate than men’s.

Most striking in the new analysis is the variation in pay. In general, women earn about 20% less than men, even after taking into account the size of the organization. By using that same model, some men were found to be demonstrably underpaid while others were highly overpaid — even though federal regulations say that not-for-profits cannot pay “excessive compensation” to their leadership.

“Salaries in the charity area are a big problem,” said Ray Madoff, a Boston College Law School professor who is an expert on charitable giving. “They are pricing themselves like for-profit businesses, and there is nothing that really reins them in.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • The real heroines of Passover prep aren't even Jewish. But the holiday couldn't happen without them.
  • Is Handel’s ‘Messiah’ an anti-Semitic screed?
  • Meet the Master of the Matzo Ball.
  • Pierre Dulaine wants to do in his hometown of Jaffa what he did for kids in Manhattan: teach them to dance.
  • "The first time I met Mick Jagger, I said, 'Those are the tackiest shoes I’ve ever seen.'” Jewish music journalist Lisa Robinson remembers the glory days of rock in her new book, "There Goes Gravity."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.