Awhile ago I started wondering about the gender breakdown in the VolunteerMatch network. We engage our communities in so many different places – on VolunteerMatch.org, on our blogs, on social media, in person… what is the ratio of male to female, and what can we learn from that?
So I researched it. And then I made an infographic. Because how else would I present simple statistical data?
What does it all mean?
There are clear discrepancies between the percentage of women who are VolunteerMatch members and the percentage of women who are VolunteerMatch staff and board. Should we be worried about that? Are we properly representing our mostly female community? What’s going on with all the do-gooder males out there?
The short answer to all of this is: No, we shouldn’t be worried (I highly doubt that Pinterest is seriously concerned at the moment that a large majority of its members are women.) However, this analysis does reveal some important directions for us to focus our efforts moving forward:
- Our Product and Engineering teams should be keeping women in mind when they design our website, our applications and our tools. How is a user interface designed for women different from that designed for men?
- Our Communications team needs to adjust its marketing to appeal to our largest demographic – women. This means using the tools and platforms women like (cough, Pinterest…) and using language and hooks that will draw women in.
- Nonprofits like you who use VolunteerMatch to engage volunteers should keep women in mind when designing and describing your volunteer opportunities. What types of volunteer opportunities are “friendlier” for women?
- Finally: How can we get more male members?
We don’t have all the answers right now, but I can promise you one thing: We’re going to be thinking about it.
What do you think about the gender breakdown in the VolunteerMatch network? What are some ways you’d suggest to gain more male members?