Jewfem Blog

Women in business in Israel: Status report for Internation Women's Day

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.  

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“Balance and Business: Integrating spiritual ideas with your professional life”

"Balance and Business: Integrating spiritual ideas with your professional life" was the title of a workshop I gave last week with Elana Rozenman's Professional Women's Networking group SuccessWorks. It was a fabulous group of professional working women in a variety of fields who shared experiences and ideas about maintaining our own spiritual balance in our professional identities. Elana Rozenman has been a leader in the field of women's professional empowerment in Israel, and it was a privilege for me to be invited to address this group and talk about these important issues. Miriam Simon was kind enough to take some notes, and Sharon Altschul took photos, so I'm sharing some of those here.  What throws us off balance? TrustSafetyDignityPersonal PowerAbuse/Attacking/ Violence – screaming, shamingFairness/JusticeFear of Security, Self Worth, Money, RespectBasic Needs Not Being MetSupporting SelfToxic EnvironmentFear of Mistakes These fears flash through our brain all the time, even just for seconds. There are fears that should call us to action, like when you see someone being shamed. There are fears that can turn into opportunities, like leaving a toxic work environment to find a better job. When we have events throw us off balance, not only look at it from a lens of fears but from what it does from our whole world view – what is my life and how I want to live my life – to quit, become freelance, to sue, to stop a meeting. Working as a spiritual quest. Five spiritual principles.  1. Dignity. Create working lives that value our and others dignity so the environment is one we can trust. Trust can build a dignified environment. 2. Diversity/complexity. We're diverse people within ourselves. Welcome that we wear lots of hats. It's ok to be more than one thing. Making space for our own complexities and in an environment where it's not expected that everyone is the same.  3. Balance between give and take. Give service/time and receive payment but suddenly it's off. In our culture women are trained to give and men are trained to take which is why women find it hard to ask for what they are worth. Balance between give and take is important.  4. Alighment. What we're doing fits in to our sense of purpose in this world. Does your work feel like work that matches what you believe in – a sense of alignment.  5. Joy. We should be happy in our work environment. If you really hate wehre you are – reason enough to work for a change.   To learn more, contact me anytime at elana@spirit-consulting.net.

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