Glass Ceiling Index: Women hold one in three senior positions in Israel

WIZO’s first-ever Glass Ceiling Index gathered data from government sources, research institutes and academic studies regarding women’s achievements and gender inequalities across a number of fields.

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March 8, 2018 04:21
2 minute read.
A LITERAL glass ceiling is seen on Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv on March 7th, 2018.

A LITERAL glass ceiling is seen on Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv on March 7th, 2018.. (photo credit: WHATSAPP)

Israeli women are vastly underrepresented across a number of professional fields, holding roughly a third of senior positions, according to a Women’s International Zionist Organization report released on Wednesday.
 
WIZO’s first-ever Glass Ceiling Index gathered data from government sources, research institutes and academic studies regarding women’s achievements and gender inequalities across a number of fields.
 
Women earn 35% less than men, and among women with higher education, the gap is even larger, at about 39%, the researchers found, based on data for 2017.
 
This also applies to the hi-tech sector, where a young female academic earns on average 7% less than her male counterpart, while women over the age of 40 earn 18% less than their male counterparts.
 
Additionally, only 34.5% of senior executives are women, and only 15.5% of CEOs are women, the report found.
 
The index noted high wage gaps in the public sector. For example, in 2016, there was an average NIS 10,000 annual wage gap between men and women in the Public Security Ministry.
 
In the IDF, the researchers found that despite efforts to incorporate women into additional roles traditionally reserved for men, including combat units, numerous obstacles to gender equality remain.  Female soldiers still suffer from exclusion and discrimination, the report said.
 
Only 8% of combat soldiers are women, and only two women have ever reached the rank of major-general, the military’s top rank other than for the chief of staff, it said.
 
Thirty-three percent of soldiers are women, as are 36% of low-ranking officers. The IDF announced that 85% of its professions are open to women, but there are some 100 professional positions in the army that are still closed to women.


IN POLITICS the picture is similar. While the current Knesset has the most female MKs to date, 33, they still comprise only 27.5% of the Knesset. This record high has seen Israel rise from 70th in the world in terms of the proportion of women serving in parliament to 57th.
 
Only 17% of the government ministers are women.
 
In the judicial system, only 26% of the Supreme Court judges are female.
 
In academia, women comprise only 30% of faculty, and only 17% of professors are women. Among the nine universities, only one – Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheba – has a female president.
 
“The data that we collected for the Glass Ceiling Index build a gloomy picture that is not appropriate for the year 2018,” World WIZO chairwoman Rivka Lazovsky said. 
 
“There is no doubt that following intensive work, we have succeeded in bringing the status of women to the public agenda,” she said. “But the road to gender equality is still long, and the findings speak for themselves.”
 
The index was released as part of a wider campaign by WIZO to increase awareness of gender inequality and call on the public to remove obstacles to the integration of women on professional and social ladders.
 
WIZO will on Thursday present a glass walkway in the center of Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard, forcing anyone walking through to duck down to avoid hitting the glass ceiling.
 
This, in an attempt to “have people experience the difficulties in breaking the different barriers preventing women from climbing up the professional and social ladder,” it said.

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