Are Women More Charitable Than Men?

Tis the season of giving, a time of year when representatives from numerous charities position themselves strategically in front of retail establishments in hopes of getting a small share of the holiday cash flow. As our country continues to grow more diverse, the needs of our society increase. Meeting the needs of communities is the responsibility of not only every working man and woman, but also the companies that are supported by those communities. Although there are numerous studies exploring how diversity in the workplace affects productivity, little attention has been focused on how workplace diversity affects the community at large. To this end, Lisa M. Leslie of the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota led a study that measured how an employee’s race and gender affects his or her likelihood to give back to communities through charitable donations.

Leslie looked at the giving differences between men and women, and also at differences by minority. She found that, overall, women gave more than men. When women outnumbered men in an organization, the men’s giving increased. Similarly, whites gave more than minorities, except when minorities represented the majority of employees. These results show that gender and race affect one’s willingness to give, at least within the context of a professional organization. They also show one of the many indirect benefits of workplace diversity. Rather than just enhancing and broadening the culture within the workplace, diversity can increase an organization’s financial impact on its community. “Whereas prior work indicates that community contexts spill over into organizations, we find that workplace contexts may spill over into the community through an association with workplace charity,” Leslie said.

Future work should look at how income affects charity. Leslie believes minorities could be less inclined to give because they may earn less than their white peers. Also, personality traits such as compassion could increase a woman’s propensity to give. These factors should be explored in more depth in future research. Until that time, Leslie hopes these findings encourage pro-social efforts aimed at increasing workplace diversity in order to improve internal and external responsibility.

Leslie, L. M., Snyder, M., & Glomb, T. M. (2012). Who gives? Multilevel effects of gender and ethnicity on workplace charitable giving. Journal of Applied Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0029943

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  • M Bravo

    M Bravo

    December 4th, 2012 at 3:05 AM

    A lot of charity habits are dictated by what’s inculcated in one’s childhood…I think my parents’ charitable habits have helped have the same in me. I try and help people in whatever capacity I can. Not just money but whatever help it may be, it’s always satisfying to put a smile on someone’s face.

  • Holly


    December 4th, 2012 at 3:55 AM

    I don’t know about in terms of money but I know that in my church for example, it is always the women of the groups who are leading the way with volunteering more of their time when it comes to helping out those in need. The men, I have to say that they are there when they have to be but for the most part I see a whole lot of women giving far more of their time than the men do. I would have no idea if this is true across the board because this is the only perspective that I have from the small town that I live in.

  • jo


    December 4th, 2012 at 11:21 PM

    I think it would be right to say women give more than men but when it comes to ethnicity we cannot draw clear conclusions..there’s a lot of factors acting into this like empathy, habit of giving, financial conditions and many more..but whatever the level of support we can give to others,and in whatever way we can I think if we can find joy in helping others then giving definitely follows.

  • Lori


    December 5th, 2012 at 3:50 AM

    I don’t think that this is a male/female issue at all. Maybe the charities that you looked at simply are those where more women or men are interested? I think that when it is a cause that someone really cares about then it doesn’t matter onle little bit who is doing more of the giving. And another think with charity, are you talking about giving simply in terms of money? Time? There are all sorts of different ways that you can participate in charitable giving and I think that highlighting the giving differences between men and women does nothing too constructive at all. Let us do more encouraging of finding a worthy cause and giving back to those who are less fortinate no matter who you are.

  • heidi


    December 5th, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    always thot this is more of a personal thing and would depend on d individual..guess I was wrong.never saw charity this way but wil hopefully try to observe if this indeed is true IRL..

  • Chloe


    December 5th, 2012 at 11:28 PM

    Women are definitely more charitable than men. I have seen this in my experience as a volunteer for years. But another aspect to remember us the feeling of power. Some people who perceive they derive power do not necessarily donate more. Maybe in a social setting but those are usually the ones that will back off from a donation, the so called powerful people!

  • SL


    December 6th, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    I believe there are other factors that are contributing to minorities not “giving.” For one whites have been known to be more privilege and more financial stables than disadvantage groups allowing them to have the means to participate in charity donation. And though minorities might reach a status of financially stable, they have other obligations to inherited to, such as providing for extended family considering majority of the time they are the sole breadwinner of the group. In addition, “giving” should be broaden to capture the ways in which minorities are giving back. They might not have the financial means to give back, but what about giving back through mentoring or providing networking resource. These are things that should also be capture.

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