Thursday, August 31, 2017

Women, Minorities Still Lack Foundation Leadership Opportunities

With more than two decades of experience working with nonprofits, Alicia Procello Maddox leverages her knowledge in her current role as president of the Avery Dennison Foundation, based in Glendale, California. In addition to her day-to-day executive role, Alicia Procello Maddox is deeply involved with a number of strategic nonprofit leadership organizations, including the Council on Foundations.

While there have been advances in the number of women and minorities on nonprofit staffs over the past decade, a recent report by the Council on Foundations reveals that these groups have seen no changes in their opportunities to advance into meaningful leadership roles in those organizations. Looking at the 2016 data, women make up about 77 percent of staff members in these organizations, but only 60 percent of executive leadership roles are occupied by women.

When looking at the statistics over a 10-year period, the ratio of employees at foundations stays around 75/25 women to men, even though women appear less likely to advance to the top of the ladder. The good news from the report is that larger foundations tend to be more diverse in terms of overall workforce. However, the data does show that, overall, women and minorities are still lagging behind when it comes to consideration for high-level positions. To view the report in its entirety, visit

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