Our 2011 Women's history month resources examine United Methodist women's shared history that unites families, churches, communities, and nations.
Although women's history in church and society is iterwined with the history shared with men, several factors - social, religious,
economic and biological - have worked to create a unique sphere of women's history.
by Craig This
The chart below* lists the top 10 U.S. annual conferences that have the highest percentage of leadership positions
held by women (lay and clergy). This chart looks at only leadership positions because this is where decisions, authority
and power are held. Generally when assessing the overall statistics of an organization, there is a high percentage of
women primarily because women are employed as support staff rather than managerial/leadership staff.
by Craig This *
Half (52%), 286 of the 547 executive/director positions* in the annual conferences of the United Methodist Church
are help by clergymen, according to the annual conference desk audits conducted by the
General Commission on the Religion and Race (GCORR) and the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women (GCSRW).
Couple those 286 clergymen with the 151 clergywomen in executive/director positions and clergy hold 80% of all
executive/director positions in the annual conferences (see Table 1).
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article is Part 2 of a two-part series. It is a continuation of the Women By the Numbers article in the
October 2010 issue, which can be found HERE.
Clergy dominate the categories 1-3 positions (executives/directors, professionals, managers/administrators) in all three
jurisdictions with 98% of the positions for South Central Jurisdiction, 86% of the Western Jurisdiction, and 64%
for the Southeastern Jurisdiction. (Because of their education levels, clergy are usually not found in categories 4-6 positions.)
Nevertheless, clergy can be found occupying the leadership positions of most annual conferences in the
South Central, Southeastern, and Western Jurisdictions.
by Craig This*
Women make up 63% of the annual conference employees in the North Central (NCJ) and Northeastern (NEJ) Jurisdiction
in the United methodist Church. most of the women enployed in these regions of the denomination hold support positions.
Approximately 282 of the 481 or 59% of the women employed by the NCJ and NEJ are employed in categories 4-6
(technicians, administration/clerical support, service/maintenance workers) (see Table 2). Of the 199 women who
are employed in categories 1-3 (executives/directors, professionals, managers/administrator), only
19 or 10% of those women hold executive/director positions.
The U.S. annual conferences (54 reporting) of the United Methodist Church employed 3,231 individuals
in 2009, according to the 2009 annual conference desk audits conducted by the General Commission on Race and
Religion and the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women. Of those employed, 75% or 2,432 are
employed in the categories 1-3 positions (executives/directors, professionnals, managers/administrators) and
25% or 799 are employed in the categories 4-6 positions (technicians, administration/clerical support,
service/maintenance workers) (see Table 1).
by Craig This*
United Methodist general agencies felt the impact of the 2008-2009 economic downturn in the United States,
according to audits by the General Commission on Religion and Race and the General Commission on the
Status and Role of Women.
The agencies dropped from 1,751 employees in 2008 to 1,557 in 2009, a loss of 194 jobs (11% of workforce).
Of the 194 job losses, 190 (98%) were laity and 4 (2%) were clergy (Table 1).
by Elaine May*
According to the denomination's most recent figures (2009), men hold 73% of the top staff
leadership positions in the U.S. annual conferences, women hold 27%.
"Top positions" in an annual conference include bishops, directors of connectional
ministries (DCM), district superintendents (DS) and treasurers. Women—who make up
more than 50% of total United Methodist membership in the United States—are least
represented as district superintendents (26% are women), while the highest number of women in top leadership
are treasurers and directors of connection ministry (33% in each category).
There are 61 U.S. annual conferences treasurers; 67% are men (41) and 33% are women (20); 77% are lay (47)
and 23% are clergy (14).
North Central Jurisdiction has the highest percentage of women treasurers (45%), followed by Northeast with
38%, then Western with 29%. In both the South Central and Southeastern 27% of the conference treasurers
are women. North Central and Northeastern jurisdiction tie for having the largest number of women treasurers - five each.
Of the 467 United Methodist district
superintendents appointed in the United
States, 346 (74%) are men and 121 (26%) are