Women lag behind in top Foreign Ministry posts

October 14, 2007 23:10

Women are making strides inside the Foreign Ministry, but are still underrepresented in its top echelons, according to numbers the Foreign Ministry released Sunday. According to the figures, of the 996 Foreign Ministry employees, 428 - or 43 percent - are women. However, women fill only 28% of the diplomatic department head slots and constitute only 10% of the ambassadorships and heads of delegations abroad. Yael Ravia-Zadok, responsible for the status of women inside the ministry, said that the discrepancy between the number of women employed in the ministry and those in top slots came about because up until the mid-1990s, the ministry did not recruit female cadets. Now, she said, the situation has changed, and women make up between 40-50% of the new cadets. Ravia-Zadok said that the pure numbers did not represent the whole picture, and that in the last 10 months alone, two women have been appointed as deputy directors-general, doubling the number of women at that level from two to four. "That is a very significant increase," she said. There are currently 21 deputy director-general positions in the ministry.

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