Austin’s largest non­prof­its are short on women CEOs

And gen­der pay gap for those lead­ers is twice the na­tional trend.

Austin American-Statesman Sunday - - INSIGHT - By Lucy White

Six of the 25 largest Austin-area non­prof­its had women as CEOs in 2015. The dis­par­ity be­tween av­er­age salaries for those men and women amounted to more than $107,000, with women earn­ing 63 per­cent of what the men made.

These find­ings are a re­sult of a Re­port­ing Texas anal­y­sis of 2015 tax fil­ings — the lat­est year for which com­plete data was avail­able — main­tained by GuideS­tar, a na­tional re­port­ing or­ga­ni­za­tion on non­prof­its.

“Be­ing paid a fair salary for the work we do is crit­i­cal,” said Patsy Woods Martin, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of An­nie’s List, an Austin non­profit that pro­motes pro­gres­sive women can­di­dates for elected of­fice in Texas.

Women make up the ma­jor­ity of non­profit em­ploy­ees na­tion­wide, but they are vastly un­der­rep­re­sented in top lead­er­ship po­si­tions at or­ga­ni­za­tions with the largest bud­gets. Only one in five ex­ec­u­tives na­tion­wide are women at non­prof­its with bud­gets ex­ceed­ing $50 mil­lion, based on a 2017 com­pen­sa­tion re­port by GuideS­tar.

Many non­prof­its serve di­verse com­mu­ni­ties, pro­mot­ing mis­sions that ad­vance eq­uity and in­clu­siv­ity. And as stud­ies have shown, the more di­verse the group, the bet­ter it per­forms. But na­tion­wide there is a gap in me­dian CEO com­pen­sa­tion for men and women at or­ga­ni­za­tions of ev­ery size, ac­cord­ing to the GuideS­tar study, also based on 2015 data. Be­tween 2005 and 2015, the gap in­creased in some cat­e­gories. The dis­par­ity be­comes more pro­nounced the larger the bud­get, ac­cord­ing to GuideS­tar’s re­port.

The gen­der pay gap in Austin is twice as high as the na­tional trend among or­ga­ni­za­tions with bud­gets ex­ceed­ing $50 mil­lion, Re­port­ing Texas’ anal­y­sis found. In 2015, only one of those nine or­ga­ni­za­tions was run by a woman — Rhonda Mund­henk of Lone Star Cir­cle of Care. Mund­henk made $294,670, al­most $500,000 less

than the top-paid man; her or­ga­ni­za­tion had roughly one-third the bud­get of the largest in this cat­e­gory.

Woods Martin said when women are mar­ried and have chil­dren, the higher-paid spouse of­ten stays in the work­force. If women are paid more, they will be more likely to stay and grow into ex­ec­u­tive roles, Woods Martin said.

“See­ing more and more women in lead­er­ship po­si­tions en­cour­ages women to strive for that,” she said.

The high­est-paid CEO among Austin-area non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tions, Juan Sanchez at South­west Key Pro­grams Inc., made $770,860 in 2015, ac­cord­ing to GuideS­tar’s data. Sanchez de­fended his pay as ap­pro­pri­ate given the size and reach of the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

“If there was a woman in my po­si­tion, I would ex­pect that she get paid as much as I do,” he said.

When Mund­henk in 2014 took over Lone Star Cir­cle of Care, a health care ser­vices provider for low-in­come peo­ple, the or­ga­ni­za­tion was in “free fall,” and no one ex­pected it to sur­vive, Mud­henk said. She was tasked with sav­ing and re­struc­tur­ing Lone Star to pre­serve core ser­vices. Since she be­gan, Lone Star has emerged stronger, ex­celling in ev­ery met­ric, she said.

“You’ve got to be will­ing to do it all,” said Mund­henk, who starts her days at 4 a.m. “You can’t think you’re be­yond any­thing or you’ve passed any­thing that’s be­yond your pay grade. I have lit­er­ally taken out the trash at our com­pany pic­nic.”

Mund­henk be­lieves that her di­verse team is es­sen­tial for Lone Star’s suc­cess, point­ing to the pit­falls of blind spots from group­think.

“We’re too good at con­vinc­ing our­selves that we know it all, so it helps to be chal­lenged by some­one with an al­ter­nate per­spec­tive.”

Sev­eral re­cent stud­ies show that more di­verse teams pro­duce bet­ter out­comes. Ac­cord­ing to “Di­ver­sity Mat­ters,” a 2015 re­port by McKin­sey & Com­pany, pub­licly traded com­pa­nies in the top quar­tile for gen­der di­ver­sity tend to out­per­form their com­peti­tors. The study an­a­lyzed 366 pub­lic com­pa­nies across a range of in­dus­tries in Canada, Latin Amer­ica, the United King­dom and the United States.

Non­prof­its such as Lone Star have a sub­stan­tial role in sup­ple­ment­ing gov­ern­ment and pri­vate ser­vices. The largest 25 Austin or­ga­ni­za­tions spent over $1 bil­lion in 2015, af­fect­ing health care, ed­u­ca­tion, low-in­come hous­ing, se­nior care and other is­sues.

Many non­prof­its are work­ing on di­ver­si­fy­ing boards, but lead­ers in the com­mu­nity are un­aware of any or­ga­nized ef­fort to specif­i­cally ad­dress the gen­der dis­par­ity in top staff po­si­tions.

Austin’s Mis­sion Cap­i­tal helps ad­vise other non­prof­its in lead­er­ship hir­ing and salary choices. It is not cur­rently work­ing on gen­der eq­uity and in­clu­sion, ac­cord­ing to di­rec­tor of mar­ket­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tions Kristina Thomp­son. Mis­sion Cap­i­tal is in the mid­dle of a strate­gic plan­ning process and hopes to work on the is­sue in the fu­ture, she said.

Al­though a fu­ture Mis­sion Cap­i­tal ini­tia­tive could drive change in the in­dus­try, or­ga­ni­za­tions also are re­spon­sive to their fund­ing sources. For in­stance, foun­da­tions look­ing to award grants to non­prof­its some­times ask for board di­ver­sity in­for­ma­tion as a fac­tor in their de­ci­sions.

But in­di­vid­ual donors may RANK BY EX­PENSES IN BUD­GET MIL­LIONS

1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) 9) 10) 11) 12) 13) 14) 15) 16) 17) 18) 19) 20) 21) 22) 23) 24) 25)

$150.4 $107.02 $86.95 $77.67 $ 77.59 $71.12 $68.4 $63.7 $57.98 $39.71 $32.89 $31.41 $30.25 $27.11 $26.03 $24.68 $24.16 $23.38 $22.74 $22.36 $21.68 $18.4 $18.23 $17.89 $17.77

* In­com­plete data ** Not re­ported on fed­eral tax form

be un­aware of any gen­der in­equities when they choose or­ga­ni­za­tions to sup­port.

Be­gin­ning March 1, lo­cal non­prof­its will com­pete for do­na­tions dur­ing Am­plify Austin, a 24-hour pe­riod of on­line giv­ing that last year raised nearly $10 mil­lion. The or­ga­ni­za­tion


Rhonda Mund­henk (right), CEO of Lone Star Cir­cle of Care, talks to Dr. Barakah Day in the lobby of the Dell Chil­dren’s Cir­cle of Care Pe­di­atrics unit at Lake Aire Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Ge­orge­town. Mund­henk is the only fe­male CEO of an Austin-area non­profit with a bud­get larger than $50 mil­lion. Only one in five non­prof­its na­tion­ally at that bud­get level have women CEOs.

Regina Ro­goff is CEO of Peo­ple’s Com­mu­nity Clinic, one of Austin’s old­est clin­ics serv­ing the poor, unin­sured and un­der­in­sured. Ro­goff, whose non­profit’s bud­get is around $18 mil­lion, is one of only six fe­male CEOs at the Austin area’s 25 largest non­prof­its.

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