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Glass ceiling cracks for female execs

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Cracks are beginning to form in the charitable sector’s glass ceiling as women heading large nonprofits are getting bigger pay increases than men, a new study says.

Female CEOs at nonprofits with budgets of $25 million or more saw a greater increase in median compensation during fiscal year 2005 than did their male counterparts, according to the 2007 GuideStar Nonprofit Compensation Report.

The study says median compensation for female nonprofit executives rose 6.7 percent, compared with a 5.5 percent increase for males.

In organizations with budgets of $50 million or more, median compensation grew 8.4 percent for women CEOs and only 7.1 percent for men.

Though the gender gap in compensation packages remains, it has narrowed significantly since fiscal year 2000, when male nonprofit executives’ median compensation was 45.7 percent higher than women’s.  However, by fiscal year 2005, this gap had decreased to 25.2 percent.

“Accurate, complete, and authoritative information on nonprofit compensation is more important than ever,” Bob Ottenhoff, GuideStar’s president and CEO, says in a statement.

“Congress, the IRS, and the general public are looking more closely at nonprofits,” he says.  “Organizations must demonstrate that the salaries and benefits they offer are justified.”

The report, in its seventh annual edition, is based on study of the IRS data of more than 53,000 tax-exempt organizations for fiscal year 2005.

Guidestar is a Williamsburg, Va.-based online resource for fiscal and program information from more than 1.7 million American nonprofits.

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