If women are 51% of Israel’s population, why aren’t they also 51% of the CEOs but only 7%? And how can women be empowered, so that this gap is closed?
According to Anat Kenan, Executive Vice President of Global HR, Alma Lasers, it is crucial for women always to remember that they are proven to be better than men when it comes to managing companies and many other tasks.
“We are not a minority and yet sometimes we act like a minority and people treat us like a minority.”
“Women are just better managers,” she said, speaking during a panel at the Women Leaders Summit organized by The Jerusalem Post Group on Wednesday.
One of the top three global leaders of energy-based medical and aesthetics solutions, Kenan emphasized that Alma Lasers boasts many women in its top ranks.
“We have three female VPs and in general the percentage of female managers is very high,” she said. “We have found this approach very successful.”
Kenan explained that Alma deeply believes in fostering employee stability and wellbeing as an essential element for allowing the company to thrive.
“Most of our employees are millennials and generation Z,” she said. “Contrary to what some people say, they are very smart. When they look for a job, they look for a job with meaning and for companies with good values.”
Kenan highlighted that Alma Lasers chooses to put great emphasis on diversifying its employees and allowing them to grow and develop while maintaining a positive life-work balance.
“We have nine subsidiaries across the world, but we are proud to be an Israeli company that creates its brand, products and corporate culture here,” she remarked, adding that their focus on employee wellbeing has allowed them to go through both the COVID pandemic and the current wave of high-tech layoffs without letting anyone go.
“During COVID, we even gave out bonuses and our employees remember it to this day,” she said.
The panel also included investor Hilla Ovil Brenner, the founder of Yazamiyot, an organization supporting women entrepreneurs, ecosystem leader Hilla Bakshi, founder of Hameetupistiot, a community focused on increasing female participation in high-tech events and Rivka Zafrir, CEO of NERA Ventures, an accelerator for Orthodox women.
Ovil Brenner, Bakshi and Zafrir discussed how their initiatives help women succeed and why it is important.
“We are 51% of the population, therefore we should be 51% of the CEOs,” Ovil Brenner said. “We are not a minority and yet sometimes we act like a minority and people treat us like a minority.”
“I was always the only female founder, the only woman in the room, raising money, being pregnant, getting weird questions about who was looking after my children,” she shared. “If you take one thing from here is that we are not a minority and we should be equal and we should be raising money and we should be starting companies.”
In order to do so, finding a mentor can be crucial, Bakshi said.
“My suggestion is: find yourself a role model that you look up to and follow her,” she remarked. “It worked for me.”
“At NERA, one of my missions is to bring more role models to the table so that other women can see them,” said Zafrir. “My message is that it is important for women to help each other, including giving a chance to someone who does not look like us.”