Maximizing the Talent of Women in the Nonprofit Sector (Penny Hawkins)

November 2019

While nearly 75% of nonprofit professionals are women, less than half of the CEO's in the sector are female, and those in leadership are making 30% less than their male counterparts.  Penny and I had a great conversation in episode 3 of The Path Podcast about these and other important topics facing women in the nonprofit community, and topics that are equally important for their male colleagues.  She also shares great advice and resources for women on the path to nonprofit leadership!

"Women are increasingly leading the philanthropic decisions of their families."


Penny has enjoyed 15 years of professional experience in both the corporate and nonprofit sectors. She began her career in Private Equity with BlackHawk Capital Management where she focused on communications, investor relations, marketing and operations. After completing the Foundation for the Carolinas Impact Fund for Emerging Philanthropists in 2008, she combined her skill for investor relations with a desire to support growth in Charlotte's vital philanthropic community and entered the path to nonprofit leadership. Prior to joining PMA Consulting as a Senior Consultant, Penny held leadership development positions at Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center Foundation, KinderMourn, and the Council for Children's Rights. In her most recent role with Novant Health, she served as the Development Program Manager of the Children's and Women's Service Lines. Penny has a bachelor's degree in Journalism & Mass Communication with a focus on Public Relations from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She's obtained her CFRE (Certified FundRaising Executive) designation, obtained certification from the Wake Forest University's Essentials of Business for Nonprofit Organizations, and is the incoming Board President for the Charlotte Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).


·      Penny's productivity: spreadsheets; "eating frogs"; 5am to 7am
·      Eat That Frog (Brian Tracy)
·      5am Miracle (Jeff Sanders), Miracle Morning (Hal Elrod)
·      Five generations of women in the workforce 
·      Sexual harassment protections for employees and donors 
·      Utilizing mentors at all stages of your career 
·      Beware the power dynamic of "the client is always right"
·      What policies does your organization need?
·      Female donors are increasingly leading family philanthropy 
·      Penny's Pick: Quiet by Susan Cain