The Israeli media loves International Women's Day so much that they put women on the covers -- even in the business sections -- and have lots of advertisements for perfume and other things that will "make women in you life feel special". Yediot even blasts the exciting news that "Women are writing Yediot" for this special edition. This, of course, points out the problem with International Women's Day: There are 364 other days of the year when women ought to be writing and being featured for their work.... Perhaps more than a bottle of perfume, women would prefer equal pay for our work and for our writing to be featured regularly as regular staff, not just as a special "women's thing".
So here are some sobering statistics about women in business and leadership in honor of Women's Day:
* Out of the top 100 publically-traded companies in Israel, only 8 are headed by women (8%). Of the top 500 largest companies, 27 are headed by women (5.5%)
* 89% of Boards of public companies have women on them -- sounds like progress? Well, put it this way: 11% of boards are are all-male. In total, only 17% of board members of the top 100 companies are women
* Of the top 500 companies, only 22 (5%) have more than a quarter women on the Board of Directors
* Only 2% of Boards have women at the helm
* The entire financial industry has 19% of women in managerial positions
* In Israeli-government owned companies, only 7% of managers are women
* In Israeli hospitals, twice as many male doctors than female doctore have senior positions
* Of the 19 Israeli billionaires, only one is a woman (Shari Aroson). These billionaires, by the way, own about 60% of the GDP of Israel.
* Only 9% of women in Israel are satisfied with their salaries.
Yeah.... forget the perfume. And forget the celebrations. All these media moguls are patting themselves on the back thinking that they've done a great thing by having women writers and women on the cover one day a year. There are 364 other days a year, and still a long way to go before we can really break out the champaign for Women's Day.
Dr. Elana Maryles Sztokman is a feminist thought-leader, anthropologist, and writer whose research and ideas help shape a vision for a compassionate society. She has published five books on gender in society, and today helps women amplify their own voices and find their power through Lioness Booksand Media. She coaches women through the writing process, edits, and ghost-writes women's books, and publishes women's writing through Lioness. She also speaks and consults with groups and organizations around the world on gender issues and women's experiences in the world. Would you like to schedule a chat? Contact her at email@example.com