CBS: Women earn 17% less than men on hourly basis

While women make up nearly half of skilled workforce (48.6%), they comprise less than a third of the managerial positions.

Religious IDF women (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Religious IDF women
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Though the gender gap in wages has improved over time, women in Israel still earn only 83 percent of men’s income on an hourly basis, according to a Central Bureau of Statistics report released Wednesday, ahead of International Women’s Day on Friday.
Because men tend to work more hours on average and represent a larger part of the labor force, the overall income gap is even higher, with all of Israel’s women taking home about two-thirds the income that men do, though the percentage has increased 6% from 2002 and 9% from the early 1990s.
“The gender gap for income exists at every level of education,” the report said.
Interestingly, more educated women earned even less, relative to men than their somewhat less educated sisters (77% of men’s wages for over 16 years education, versus 85% of men’s wages for 9-12 years education).
Another factor contributing to lower wages was the fact that a large proportion of women are employed in “traditionally female,” lower-wage jobs, a fact which hasn’t changed in the past two decades. In fact, 41% of women fall into six job categories: caretakers, elementary school and kindergarten teachers, secretaries, “other officials,” “salespeople and models,” and “cleaners, kitchen workers and laundry workers.”
Women constitute at least 70% of the workforce in the first four of those job categories.
While women made up nearly half of the skilled workforce (48.6%), they comprised less than a third of the managerial positions (30.8%). The lowest income decile is 69% female, while the highest one is only 23% female.
There’s hope those figures will change. When it comes to education, there’s been a marked increase in the number of girls studying academic tracks (66%) and technology (34%) in high school, on par with boys. A decade ago, 6% fewer girls were studying technology. Dropout rates are lower for girls than for boys, while their eligibility rates for matriculation exams are about 10% higher. Women make up over half of the students in higher education (nearly 60% of master’s degrees), as they have been since 1989. Among Arab students in higher education, over 2/3 are female.
Of course, one of the biggest issues affecting women in the workplace is motherhood.
The average birthrate for Israeli women in their lifetime is 3.00, up from 2.95 a decade ago, and significantly higher than the OECD average of 1.71. Yet women are waiting longer to start having children, with the average age rising to 27.3 from 26.3 a decade earlier.
In many aspects of marriage and child-bearing, differences among religious and ethnic groups in Israel are clear. While Jewish women tend to have their first marriage at the age of 25.7, and Christians at 25.5, Druse get married younger, at 23, and Muslims at 21.6 Divorce rates are increasing as well; the chances of a marriage ending within its first eight years almost doubled from 1968-1971, when it was 6%, until the turn of the century. The number of divorces rose some 30% from 2003 to 2010.
While the vast majority (90%) of mothers with children under 17 live with a partner, 104,000 women head single-parent homes. Greater proportions of Jewish women were single mothers (11%) than Arab women (7%).
Yet despite the overall inequalities, women didn’t seek to recoup their losses through crime. According to the report, women accounted for less than a tenth of all criminal accusations.