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Study: Only 13% of CEO positions in Israel held by women

March 9, 2010. Ynet: Ofer Petersburg

Women-owned businesses grow at a faster rate than those owned by men, but in Israel 2010 women are still lagging behind in managerial positions, according to new research conducted by Dun & Bradstreet ahead of International Women's Day held on Monday.

The survey studied the percentage of women in managerial positions in the Israeli economy, and concluded that only 12.9% of all general-manager positions in the leading Israeli companies are held by women, compared with 8.9% in 2009 and 8.4% the year before. In contrast, the world average stands at 17%, while Europe recorded the largest number of women managers.

In addition, women hold 9.24% of chairwoman positions, compared with 8.86% in 2009 and 2.2% the year before. Only 11 women act as CEOs or chairwomen in companies listed on the TA-100 Index in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Fifteen of these companies employ women as CFOs.

According to another study conducted by Ernst & Young, eight million businesses in the United States are exclusively owned by women, with a total net worth of three trillion dollars. These businesses create some 23 million work places – 16% of the total work places in the US.

On a global scale, 25%-33% of all private businesses are managed by women, according to data collected by the World Bank. Moreover, these businesses enjoy a higher growth rate than businesses owned by men.

Data reinforces OECD criticism

In terms of the most common occupations, women fill 42.06% of all spokesperson positions, compared with 43.3% in 2009. The second most popular trade is human resources management positions, of which 56.59% are held by women, compared with 58.3% in 2009 and 47.1% the year before.

The most popular occupations among men are engineering management (96.95%) and operations management (94.16%).

Survey also showed a gradual increase in managerial positions among women during 2010 with 19.88% of women working as managers compared with 19% in 2009 and 14.8% the year before. The percentage of women in vice-managerial positions decreased from 15.9% in 2008 to 14.8% last year and 13.21% in 2010, while in the field of finance management 22.31% women are currently employed, compared with 25.5% in 2009 and 16.6% the year before.

"The situation is still far from reflecting the large percentage of women in the market and their contribution to the economy. The data reinforces the criticism against Israel, also expressed by the OECD, which shows the wage discrimination and inequality of opportunity in managerial positions," said Products and Marketing Manager at Dun & Bradstreet Mina Seligman.

The situation will improve only once the perception about labor laws changed and the many structural restraints are lifted," Seligman added.

The leading women in managerial positions in Israel include President & CEO of Bank Leumi Galia Maor, Chairperson of Strauss Group Ofra Strauss, Tnuva Chairwoman Zehavit Cohen-Yosef, 012Smile.Communications CEO Stella Handler and former Chairman of the Second Authority for Television and Radio Nurit Dabush.


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