Israel: Discrimination Against Women in the Workplace Continues


woAccording to the report released by State Comptroller Justice Yosef Shapira, the glass ceiling preventing women from advancing in civil service and private sectors remains in place. The report was just released to coincide with International Women’s Day which is observed this week around the world.

The report frowns on the reality existing in government ministries, government hospitals and companies, as well as in Israel Police and other agencies. The report states that while women represent 64% of the public sector workforce, women in senior posts only represent 11-13% of the senior officials in that sector.

The discrimination is evident among director-generals of government ministries, where men hold most of the positions. The report speaks out against the obvious hegemony that exists and the need to change this alarming reality. In 2013, there were on 6 female director-generals of a total of 30 slots. If one moves down a tier to an assistant director-general, women represent one-third. The state comptroller adds the most alarming situation exists in the Defense Ministry and the Ministry of Religious Services where there is not a single female in an assistant director-general slot.

There are no females among medical directors of the nation’s government-run hospitals, with the comptroller pointing an accusing finger at Israel Police too, where there is not a single female district commander or senior officer.

Shapira adds the governments of Israel over the years did not toil towards creating equality in the government workplace and this is evident today.

The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) adds the average women’s salary is 34% lower than her male counterpart, with the average women’s salary reported to be 7,244 NIS monthly as compared to men, 10,953. Half of the nation’s working women earn less than 5,489 NIS monthly. Women make up 88% of the assistants in the workforce who earn less than 3,773 NIS monthly.

In Israel Electric there are only 2,500 women among the 13,000 employees. There is not a single woman in Israel Electric’s senior management, and only 9 women among the 95 third and fourth level managerial positions. Israel Electric reports things have begun to change since 2013.

In Israel Military Industries women compromise 2,500 of the 16,000 strong workforce and the 21 top posts are held exclusively by men. There are 20 second tier managerial posts, once again, all held by men. In third level management there is 1 woman and 42 men.

In Israel Police, women comprise 23% of the 27,500 policepersons. There is not a single female at a rank of an officer who reports directly to the police chief. In the university system, 85% of the senior professors are men.

The CBS adds that women are generally more educated than men, with the average women having 14.2 years of education as compared to 13.8 among men. 65% of students earning a matriculation high school diploma are women while they are 57% of the national student body. They also represent 56.7% of students receiving a bachelors degree, 59.9%, and 52.1 of those earning a doctorate. 67% of women work fulltime as compared to 87% of men.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. The statistics of who has “made it” in public life and economic life suggests that discrimination against women is negligible compared to discrimination against both hareidim and Arabs, and perhaps also against non-hareidi shomrei mitsvos, and against Jews from the Afro-Asian countries. An elite female, i.e. secular, Ashkenazi and from an affluent family, does quite well in Israel – yet these are the ones complaining about discrimination.

  2. Statistics do not prove discrimination. Most Israeli women have families and thank G-d are not willing to sacrifice their families for their careers. Usually it’s the men who will work around the clock and therefore are promoted