“Things gonna change; it’s apparent, and all the transparent gonna be seen through.
Let God redeem you, keep your deen true.
Watch out what you cling to; you can get the green too. Observe how a queen do…
You could get the money, you could get the power, but keep your eyes on the final hour.” — Lauryn Hill (“Final Hour”)
Jane Eisner and her good crew at The Forward have published their fifth annual salary survey, listing the 62 top-earning executives of American, Jewish non-profit organizations and their salaries. The main two questions emerging from these annual surveys are whether the salaries paid to our community’s leaders are appropriate, excessive, or insufficient, and why the gender gap remains so significant.
This year’s survey is accompanied, for the first time, by statistical analysis by Wharton Business School statistics Professor Abraham Wyner and his student Tamara Pier, quantifying pretty accessibly which CEO’s are overpaid in relation to the expected salary for an organization of the size they run. Wyner and his team also tackle the gender gap, quantifying how much of it should be attributed to the fact that when women run Jewish organizations, they tend to be smaller organizations, and how much should be attributed to other factors, such as sex discrimination in salary.
For what I hope is just round one of processing of this information here in Jewschool, I’m not jumping to conclusions yet about which, if any, of the salaries on this list is excessive and what kind of waste is going on in Jewish philanthropy, etc., as I don’t feel that I have sufficient command of the market data for how much non-profit CEO’s should be paid in order to recruit top people, what salaries need to be in different cities based on cost of living, etc.
I would like to home in on the gender data, just to focus our attention toward a productive strategy conversation toward communal repair. A few disturbing observations:
1) Of the 62 Jewish, non-profits featured here, only nine are run by women and two of those are women’s organizations (Hadassah, #22, and National Council of Jewish Women, #41). That means that less than 12%, only seven out of the 60, top-earning, general, Jewish organizations have women at the head.
2) Only one woman cracks into the top half of those 62, Hadassah’s CEO peaking at #22.
3) Four of these women head organizations that are explicitly left or progressive (AJWS – #34, Americans for Peace Now – #45, Workmen’s Circle-Arbiter Ring – #54, and Keshet -#62), so mild kudos to the left for walking more of the walk on gender equality, but severe shame to the middle-of-the-road mainstream. Federation of San Francisco (whose female CEO is assessed to be, relatively, the fifth-most-underpaid CEO on this list), Stand with Us, and Foundation for Jewish Culture are the only gender-inclusive, centrist or mainstream organizations on this list with women as heads.
So, mainstream, secular Jewish community: a lot of you correctly excoriate the Orthodox community for its structural sexism. But really, people in glass houses should not throw stones. The rest of the community is barely any better when it comes to real power, and might even be worse.