Just eight of Israel’s 100 biggest companies are run by women, according to a BDI-Coface study released Wednesday.

Female representation atop the largest companies, which has doubled in the past year, is actually better than the companies further down the line; the top 300 companies have 19 women CEOs (6.3%) and the top 500 companies have just 27 (5.4%).

The numbers are comparable globally. According to Catalyst, at the start of 2014 women were CEOs in 4.6% of the Fortune 500 companies.

Just two of Israel’s top 100 companies’ boards have chairwomen, and the top 500 have a mere 19 (1.8%).

“It’s a badge of shame for the economy, as companies fail to take advantage of all their workers’ potential,” said BDI-Coface co-CEO Tehila Yanai, adding that the result was suboptimal performance.

The study showed that there was no financial advantage in having a male CEO or chairman rather than a female one.

According to Yanai, the situation, though dismal, has been improving. The proportion of male to female employees in the big companies was 60 to 40, still unequal, but better than in previous years.

Women were also more heavily represented in some industries than others.

Among the companies examined, all three of the personnel service companies’ CEOs were women, as were 43% of the textile and apparel companies.

Additionally, 19% of the financial companies were headed by women.

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