TEL AVIV – World Jewish Congress-held an event on Monday at Tel Aviv University addressing the importance of equality in leadership, at which experts from a wide range of fields came together to discuss solutions for integrating more women into Israeli leadership positions. The event took place under the banner of the World Jewish Congress-Israel and the WJC Jewish Diplomatic Corps.
Sharing both personal anecdotes and data, speakers outlined ways to increase the numbers of women in leadership positions in both the public and private sectors.
In opening remarks, the Director of the Authority for the Advancement of the Status of Women, Ayelet Razin Bet Or, called for everyone to ensure that women are not guests in society, but equal partners.
The first of the two panels addressed how equality in political leadership can improve Israeli society, noting that diversity of opinions strengthens democracy.
Nitzan Senior Shneor, CEO of Young Women Politicians, stressed that women want to get involved in politics not just to improve the lives of women, but because they want to help their country. Yoffi Tirosh, Vice Dean at the Faculty of Law, Tel Aviv University, emphasized that “female representation in government is a benchmark for society.”
Colette Avital, WJC-Israel Board Member, member of the WJC Executive Committee, and Chair of the Center Organizations of Holocaust Survivors in Israel, reflected on her wide-ranging experience in the Knesset and Israel’s diplomatic service and stated that even though there is more work to be done on equality, Israel is moving in the right direction.
The second panel focused on the benefits of equality in the business sector, with discussants weighing in on issues such as executive board quotas and educational programs. Venture capitalist Eli Novershtern, who serves as President of the WJC Jewish Diplomatic Corps, declared that the best way to move forward is for potential leaders to be evaluated solely on their ability, adding, “Merit is the best equalizer.”.
Gat Megiddo, CEO of Finessa Capital, made the observation, based on personal experience as a basketball player, that participation in organized sports engenders qualities such as competitiveness and determination that are essential to success in a variety of pursuits and recommended that more young women engage in sports for this reason. Reinforcing a comment from an audience member about the importance of parents setting an example of equality for their children, she proclaimed, “If you can see it, you can be it!”
Gabriel Rosenberg, Deputy Director of the WJC Jewish Diplomatic Corps, concluded the event optimistically, noting that after hearing the passion, expertise, and conviction of the leaders gathered at the event, he was confident that his two-year old daughter would “grow up in a more equal, secure, and prosperous world.”
Panel 1: “How Can Equality in Political Leadership Improve Israeli Society?”
- Colette Avital, WJC-Israel Board Member; WJC Executive Committee Member; Chairperson, Center Organizations of Holocaust Survivors in Israel
- Yofi Tirosh, Vice Dean, Faculty of Law, Tel Aviv University; former Dean, Sapir Academic College School of Law
- Nitzan Senior Shneor, Founder and CEO, Young Women Politicians (YWP)
- Moderator: Miki Roitman, WJC Jewish Diplomatic Corps
Panel 2: “The Benefits of Equality from a Business Perspective.”
- Maya Sabari, Partner, Gornitzky & Co Law Firm, and Vice Chairwoman, Israel Bar Association’s Gender Equality Forum
- Gat Megiddo, CEO and Co-Founder, Finessa Capital
- Eli Novershtern, President, WJC Jewish Diplomatic Corps; WJC Executive Committee Member; Founder, Morrag Investments
- Keren Herscovici, Co-Founder of 8200 Woman2Woman, and VP Finance at Panorays
- Moderator: Ariel Rodal-Spieler, WJC Jewish Diplomatic Corps