Study: Women get less work benefits than men [pg. 17]

Life insurance, profit sharing and car-related benefits are among the work perks where female employees are coming up short, according to a study released Wednesday by the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry's planning, research, and economics administration. The study, based on 2003 data, found that while 35.7 percent of male employees received assistance in paying life insurance costs, only 24.4% of females did. Furthermore, only 4.5% of women received a share in profits or stock options, against 11.5% of men, and only 3.5% of women were provided a private vehicle, against 22.8% of men. While 17.1% of men were allowed use of a shared company car, only 13% of women were. A less significant gap was found in employer participation in pension plans and funds, with 62.3% of women benefiting against 67.4% of men. "The disparities in numbers among those receiving the various benefits do not vary significantly between the [business and public] sectors. In other words, it cannot be said that the public sector is more egalitarian towards women in terms of benefits alongside wages," the study's authors noted. In "other" perks - including cellphones, meals, newspapers, and assistance in children's school fees - 26.5% of women benefited, against 47.6% of men. No significant disparities were seen in paid sick leave, paid vacation or assistance in provident funds, which were provided to roughly 69%, 81% and 47% of the population, respectively, regardless of gender. Gaps also narrowed in the higher salary brackets and the differences almost disappeared in most types of benefits. Still, significant differences were visible among higher-salaried men and women in terms of private car access (12.2% of women against 37.3% of men earning more than NIS 7,000 gross monthly) and shares in profits or stock options (10.3% of women against 21.5% of men).