Women And Leadership Roles

Women are gaining positions of prominence and importance in the charitable sector, but they are not always reaching the most of their potential.


That was the word of Sarah Durham, president of Big Duck, during the recent Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) International Fundraising Conference. Durham offered the following considerations:


* 57 percent of women in the sector, including 72 percent of women aged 18-34, aspire to hold positions of CEO.

* Women hold three of every four fundraising development jobs, but only 52 percent of top fundraisers at the largest organizations by private-donation revenue are female.

* Among budgets in excess of $25 million, women constitute only 21 percent of leadership roles even though they make up 75 percent of the workforce.


Using examples from women who have reached the top, Durham offered the following insights.


* “Determine how you learn best.” Elizabeth Bajaras-Román, CEO of the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts.

* “Set one career- or life-changing goal for yourself each year. Then do something every day, week and month to get you there.” Amy Eisenstein, president of AFP-New Jersey.

* “Take the meeting!” Bertina Ceccarelli, Executive Vice President for Global Resources of the Wildlife Conservation Society.

* “If you want to get something, offer something.” Andrea Kihlstedt, co-founder of Asking Matters and Capital Campaign Masters.