(photo credit: Courtesy)
The chairman of the Securities Authority, the director of the Tax Authority, the
director-general of the Antitrust Authority, the Civil Service commissioner, the
supervisor in charge of the Treasury’s Capital Markets, Savings and Insurance
Division, and the accountantgeneral in the Finance Ministry – more than a few
senior civil service positions will soon become open. Of all these, only one –
the director-general of the Antitrust Authority, is held by a
Replacements constitute an opportunity for change – both in
concept and essence. Here, the concept is that candidates should come from the
same guild of senior positions in the civil service, which is mostly comprised
of men, and the essence is the fact that the presiding majority of people in
these positions are men.
Today, most candidates are men, as this is a
system that nurtures itself.
Men, who are less affected by raising
children and housework, progress faster to middle-sector positions, so when the
time comes to select for senior positions, the contenders are almost all male.
To cope with this problem, the appointing ministers should seek candidates from
all sectors, and not necessarily from right under their noses.
various periods in which I served as a minister, I attempted to broaden my
search to fill senior positions, both within the offices and without. True, the
first names suggested were not always women, but I tried to find women befitting
the position and to appoint some of them. True, the furnishing of female
candidates for senior positions requires an effort on the part of the
appointees, as the people “next in line” aren’t always female, but it is
I am not seeking affirmative action, but I do believe in the
importance of searching for worthwhile candidates not because they are women,
but because they are the best candidates for the job.
One can expand on
the unique traits of women, on their different ways of thinking, their different
priorities, and so on. But the real reason for appointing many more women to
senior positions in the civil service is the simple fact that women constitute
51 percent of the population, and are therefore worthy of greater
IT IS time we all made an effort to bring more women into
the leadership of the country, both in appointed and elected positions. The work
being performed in the government by only three female ministers and three
female directors of government offices testifies to the lack of awareness of the
problem, and the lack of any real desire to provide a solution.
It is no
coincidence that so many positions of influence are becoming open. The challenge
the government faces is of double significance: first and foremost, the need to
find worthy, independent candidates who will advance these important areas, and
second, to provide an expression of our multi-faceted society via government
appointments, particularly of women, who are underrepresented in senior
government positions.The writer is chairwoman of the Kadima faction in