Department of Family and Community Services
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4.1 Directors of community sector organisations

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Current position

In NSW in November/December 2011, women comprised 51 percent of board directors of community organisations that responded to the YWCA survey.

Gender gap

  • There is an almost equal proportion of female and male board directors in NSW community organisations that responded to the YWCA survey.
The direction of
change over time
There is currently no other data available with which to compare trends over time.

The YWCA survey shows that, nationally, women make up 51 percent of board directors of community organisations, which is equivalent to the NSW figure, but is substantially lower than the estimated 79 to 85 percent1 that women make up of the total community sector workforce.

Office bearer positions in community organisations are less likely to be held by women than by men. Of NSW-based respondents, 46 percent had a female president, 36 percent had a female vice-president, 34 percent had a female treasurer, and 35 percent had a female secretary. These are very similar to national percentages (see Figure 5.8).

The YWCA survey also shows that as the income of community organisations increases to $1 million or more, they are less likely to have female board directors than organisations with a smaller annual turnover (less than $1 million).

The YWCA survey was distributed electronically amongst networks of the YWCA, Women on Boards and the Australian Council of Social Service. Survey data was collected between 16 November and 12 December 2011. Responses were received from 662 organisations nationally that identified as not-for-profit. Of these, 70 organisations operated solely in NSW and a further 125 organisations operated in NSW and elsewhere. Data relating to NSW community organisations refers to all 195 organisations that operate in NSW.

No definition of ‘not-for-profit’ was provided in the survey questionnaire. The most common sectors in which respondent organisations worked were
health (29 percent), education (24 percent), youth work (24 percent), women (23 percent) and disability (19 percent).

Year collected: November/December 2011.
Data source: YWCA, Women on Boards, Australian Council of Social Service (2012) Reflecting gender diversity. An analysis of gender diversity in the leadership of the community sector: Inaugural survey results. More information is available at;;