Magazine article Herizons

Women Take Byte out of Discrimination

Magazine article Herizons

Women Take Byte out of Discrimination

Article excerpt

(JERUSALEM) The dream of a corporate career in the hi-tech industry remains elusive for many women in Israel. Despite a shortfall of 10,000 IT workers and an agreement among industry leaders that the best solution is to draw more women into the field, there are few measures to ensure women are treated on par with their male counterparts.

Dorit Lewy, a senior programmer at Ness Technologies, a leading IT company in Israel, is a case in point. Despite having worked at the same level as her male colleagues for nearly five years, her remuneration is unequal.

"I earn less than men who have tasks similarto mine," Lewy says." In fact, one of my male colleagues and I had started working here at around the same time, but my salary is 30 percent lower."

She adds that employers pay lip service to fair treatment, but don't necessarily follow through. "In my present job," she says, "the management made it clear that working late nights or round-the-clock was not going to be the criteria for career advancement. Employees would be judged by their productivity, and not the actual number of hours spent in office. Nevertheless, I have realized that doing late nights is the best PR an employee can have."

Enter Ayala Skop, wife of former CEO of Microsoft, Israel, Arie Skop. A year ago, she set up Women Managers@High-Tech to promote equity in the hi-tech industry. A mother of two, Skop knew all about the challenges of balancing children and career responsibilities.

"Women form only 34 per cent of the Israeli hi-tech industry," according to Skop. "Of these, only five per cent make it to managerial positions. On an average, their salaries are lower by 25 per cent, compared to men in the same position."

Skop formulated a treaty and CEOs in the hi-tech industry were called upon to sign it. The treaty includes agreements to hold important meetings before 5 p. …

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