Women earn less than their male colleagues - a shameful 77 cents for every dollar. This is as true in the nonprofit world as for Fortune 500 companies. The Chronicle of Philanthropy recently reported that women CEOs in charities with budgets over $50 million earn 37% less than male CEOs.
Research studies in the Jewish world - including federations, synagogues and JCCs - show the same patterns, even after statistically controlling for the status of the position and the qualifications of the professionals.
In the corporate sector, litigation has focused attention on salary inequity. Given the family-style culture of Jewish organizations, litigation is not a lever for change.
Individual efforts are a way to begin:
Research the market value of your job. Guidestar publishes IRS 990s online, with data about the top five highest salaries. Check out the salary surveys published by The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Speak with colleagues, especially professionals outside your agency.
Challenge the myth that "money shouldn't matter." In our culture, we pay lip service to the noble ideal that everyone is working for the "cause". That should not stop you from being assertive about being paid equitably, especially given the high cost of Jewish living.
Practice negotiation skills. To advocate for your own best interests, begin with a compelling case about how the organization benefits from your work.
Remember that negotiation is a process. If the first round doesn't go your way, come back for another conversation. Negotiation can challenge your emotional resiliency. Separate your role in the negotiation from your personal feelings.
Advocate for your colleagues and employees. Raising salaries for individuals will not close the salary gap in the Jewish community. If you are a manager, reach out to your network to do a formal or informal salary survey; compare the differences between women and men. Consider putting this issue on the management team agenda, and educate your peers about fiscal equity.