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Charity graduate scheme surveys sexism in the charity sector

Charity graduate scheme surveys sexism in the charity sector

Women trainees on the CharityWorks graduate scheme for the charity sector are researching the extent of sexism and harassment in the charity and not-for-profit sector in the UK.

They have opened an online survey to help map experiences of sexism with the aim of using the data gathered to help contribute to “the safety and wellbeing of everyone in this sector”. Contributions to the survey are open now.

SEE ALSO: My experience of being a woman in the charity sector (14 July 2017)

The survey follows the expose of the treatment of some of the hostesses at the men only Presidents Club charity gala in January, the allegations of sexual exploitation by some international aid workers, and resignations of male charity leaders Justin Forsyth and Brendan Cox following accusations of inappropriate behaviour towards women. It takes place against the background of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements designed to challenge widespread misogynistic attitudes and behaviour.

The survey asks about:

  • experienced sexism
  • witnessed sexism
  • experienced sexual harassment
  • witnessed sexual harassment.

It also includes an optional demographics section designed to build a picture of how experiences of sexism and harassment might vary by identity.

The researchers recognise that attitudes and actions towards women are a global problem and present in all industries and sectors. They are focusing solely on experiences and views related to the charity/third sector in the UK.

They define sexism using the Merriam Webster definition: “1, prejudice or discrimination based on sex; especially : discrimination against women. 2, behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex”.

Charityworks offers a paid 12-month graduate scheme working for a charity, together with support such as mentoring, and is designed to help someone build a career in the charity sector.



The research does not gather names, and there is no requirement to leave your email, place of work “or any identifying information” unless you wish to do so.

The questions asking about examples of sexism and sexual harassment are not mandatory either. The final report will feature only anonymised information, unless the researchers contact participants (who have chosen to share their email address) and they give their express consent to do so.

In addition participants can ask at any time to have their contributions/data removed from the survey, although this might prove difficult for information contributed anonymously.

Questions about the survey can be asked via

Take the Sexism in the third sector survey.





Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

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