Home > Becoming an Entrepreneur, Empowering Women > Women Climbing the Corporate Ladder – interview notes

Women Climbing the Corporate Ladder – interview notes

Nettie Feldman invited me to interview on the topic of “Women Climbing the Corporate Ladder” on her Afternoon Schmooze radio show today . I had fun in my first radio show interview with Nettie.

Below are my notes. According to the questions that Nettie provided in preparation for the discussion. For those who didn’t have a chance to listen. Thought I’d share the information with you. There will be a podcast available in the next couple of weeks.

Question: Are women getting through the corporate glass ceiling in Israel?
Notes: Some Interesting Statistics:
8 March 2010 – Dun & Bradstreet women lag behind in managerial positions in Israel:
– 20% women managers in 2009 (40% in US) vs. 19% in 2008
– 13% women CEOs in 2009 (17% in world – Europe most) vs 9% in 2008

3 April 2010 – Survey by Statistics Bureau – advancement in last 20 years…
– Women climbed further up the corporate ladder, with % holding managerial positions having nearly doubled itself since 1990
– But difference in women’s salaries progresses less with 37% less salary reported, 27% less per hourly rate

Question: Why aren’t women equally represented in the upper management echelons?
2 Main Factors: Israeli labor laws & Corporate/business environment
OECD criticizes… See by statistics that labor laws & incentive in Israel show lack of understanding of how DIVERSITY BENEFITS BUSINESS. What is required is change & support. In the culture & law…. A paradigm shift in thinking. Starting at the C-level. Sensitivity to differences, flexibility as part of the system. Because it makes business sense… To include women!

Another issue: Practical. The reality of growing the kids…
Responsibility falls on the women… Spend time away from work… Take breaks… Get off track…. Time means perspective… Advantages… Also takes longer to get back into synch… So the age factor effects women more since kids are at prime career time… Need flexibility… Don’t voice desires & requests in corporate focus… OK to prioritize family! Must state the needs in the framework of business perspective… With benefits & facts… Not apologizing or thinking it makes you less… So it “fits” into corporate processes…

So it’s a top-down and a bottom-up process. More like a labyrinth versus a barrier of a glass ceiling. Empowering. Run. Think. Plan Versus Frustrating & Helpless – something put there that can’t go thru.
As an aside, women are making inroads & effecting economy globally & in Israel in their own business! Women-owned businesses grow at a faster rate than men.  Building reputation & credibility in business.

Question: What about in high tech? Is that considered too macho, an old boy’s geek network?
Lot of work! Time…. Culture of travel… Plus the high-tech core business is technical & still less women entering… Place of progress is more in banking, nonprofit & financial sectors. Niches like HR & Marketing, etc. Less in government & public sector as in other countries…

Statistics: 88,500 women in hi-tech; 35.6% of workers
Only 27% studying engineering…

Question: What are we doing wrong?
Notes: What I see in my clients & research that there are 4 women-specific challenges:
1) Make business personal (emotions enter);
2) Think too small (own limitation & roadblocks);
3) Domestic issues (work/life balance);
4) Self-promotion (communicate with focus & purpose, confidence & comfort)

Question: Are Israeli male bosses becoming more amenable to promoting women? Am I being too cynical?
Mindset. Be positive. In my experience, I haven’t felt the issue of promotion as a woman in hi-tech. Awareness that there are those who aren’t thinking like you. Focus on those who are…
If I look back, More my own limitations. Versus what’s on the outside. Once that goes away. Find the path & those who are supportive. There are many around…
See changes with gen-Y coming into the work force. More balance in the ranks. Collaboration. Sharing. Social interaction & tools.

Question: What can women do to move their careers forward? Do we have to be super mom/ super career?
Super mom / Super career – What is super? In the classic sense, the drive that we grew up with over the last 20 years can’t be achieved. Each person sets his boundaries and goals. What is super?
One important ingredient is SUPPORT. To do both, you need the right environment at home. A partner or spouse. Help for housework and being with the children. Flexibility.
The 2nd & 3rd important ingredients: FOCUS & ORGANIZATION of time and management of the full life.

I’ll be happy to speak to any of the listeners to discuss specifics and how they may move forward & be more strategic, focused & confident. Write to me with further questions at: info@usolve.co.il

Offer a free 30-minute consultation by phone or in-person. Welcome to join the monthly Women-in-Business Club that I run in Raanana sponsored by Raanana Women’s Council.

3 tips:
1) Plan career strategy & promote alongside doing the job – develop the social capital inside & outside the office!
2) Spend time on self – know who you are, band together with other women for support, as well as working with both women and male mentors – Be comfortable in own skin
4) Go for it authentically – focus, be assertive, with confidence – Ask for what you want & need within awareness of the environment

Have fun!


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