Boston Club report: Women play major roles at local nonprofits

Just over a third of board members for Massachusetts nonprofits, or 35 percent, are women, and 20 percent of the state’s nonprofits are headed by women chief executives, according to a new report from the Boston Club, an organization of senior executive and professional women.

By way of comparison, women held just under 13 percent of the seats on the boards of directors at the state’s largest publicly traded companies in 2012, the group said, and 9.9 percent of the top executives at those companies were women.

For the past decade, the Boston Club has been taking an annual census of female executives and board members at the state’s largest publicly traded companies.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

And now because of the importance of nonprofits to the local economy, the Boston Club has decided for the first time to take a separate census of women at nonprofits. To that end, the Boston Club examined 142 local nonprofits.

Only one of those nonprofits had no women on its board.

In its 2012 report on local publicly traded companies, 35 of the top 100 companies had no women board members, according to Boston Club numbers.

‘‘The Boston Club’s nonprofit census shows that women play a major role in the governance of some key economic engines in Massachusetts,’’ Beverly Brown, chair of the Boston Club’s Nonprofit Census Committee, said in a statement. ‘‘It also demonstrates that the nonprofit sector is an important source of opportunity for women as well as the recipient of their skills and experience.’’