Women lead philanthropic foundations, while men remain CEOs of the companies that fund them

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In Massachusetts, women overwhelmingly fill the top roles at philanthropic foundations affiliated with the state’s largest corporate givers. But at the same time, they are far underrepresented in the chief executive roles of those same companies.

The leadership gap is known as the “gender stratification of work” — philanthropic work has long been considered ”women’s work” while CEO roles are gendered as“a man’s job.” Experts say that perception is rampant in corporate philanthropy.

Workplace gender stratification is perhaps best seen in corporate philanthropy —by looking at the number of men who occupy corporate CEO roles while the foundations of those companies, again overwhelmingly, are led by women.

The Business Journal reviewed the leadership of 46 of the state’s largest corporate charitable foundations and the companies to which they are attached. Out of the46 foundations, 35 of them, about 76%, are led by women. Meanwhile, only five of the companies with which those foundations are affiliated — about 11% — are led by women.

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