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(photo credit: (Courtesy))
Senior women in business and politics all agreed Sunday women today still need to work harder than men to be successful and demanded legislative changes to advance the status of women in Israeli society.
"Women have to be better than men in our society", said Limor Livnat, the former education minister who previously chaired the Knesset Committee for the Advancement of the Status of Women, speaking at the first ever women in business conference in Israel, held in Herzliya. "Only a change in legislation will change the status of women."
The conference, which was organized by the Forum for Economic Development, discussed the work that needed to be done to advance the status of women in politics and business.
"We want to provide solutions and to break down barriers and obstacles for women to be able to get into the working world and advance in their positions," said Iris Stark, chairperson of the Ashdod Port Company and head of the Israel Forum for senior women executives. "Encouraging the employment of women at every level will contribute to companies' profitability and economic growth."
Stark and Livnat called for favourable legislation for women, which would see flexible working hours, creating an adaptable environment for women as well as tax breaks to pay for nannies.
"Young women need to see a lot of successful women around them," said new Education Minister Yuli Tamir. "The road starts with civic education and education in the equality of the sexes."
Tamir added the country needed to bring more men into the education system. "I would like to see more male teachers in kindergarten and primary school for a balanced system shared by men and women."
Dorit Salinger, CEO of Maalot, the Israeli securities rating company, said that one of the shortcomings for women to advance in business was that there was a lack of women networking in the way it exists among men.