The status of women in Israel is improving, but the social and economic reality demands more action from us. We are establishing a new generation of women’s economic leadership that promotes Socio-economic discourse. As part of this generation we are working to increase the presence and representation of women in the public sphere. We believe that integrating women into key positions will increase the opportunity for all women to integrate into the country’s economy. Jasmine plans at least five cycles of the program, to train and support as many women as possible, to change the current unequal representation and to create a generation of female economic leaders, which can influence and amend the existing policies. To achieve its goals, Jasmine has built a five-year strategy (2017-2021). Today, Jasmine finished the second cycle of the program – the 2018 cycle. During the current year, we plan to begin the third cycle of the program, the 2019 cycle.
Jasmine’s work for policy change
We are happy to share that the program was reviewed and acknowledged by Government Companies’ Authority. The Government Companies Authority is a professional unit of the Ministry of Finance, which carries out the role of the government as a shareholder in all government companies, including privatizations and managing structural changes, monitoring privatization, ongoing activities, and assisting with compliance with the recommendations of the State Comptroller. In addition, Jasmine established and enhanced the close ties with Knesset Israel (Parliament) members: Ms. Meirav Ben Ari, Member of the Committee for Gender Equality, and Ms. Merav Michaeli, a member of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and its sub-committees as well Ms. Aida Touma-Sliman, Chair of the Committee on the Status of Women and Gender Equality is involved in the project and promotes it. Ms. Touma-Sliman is one of the key speakers for the project representing her agenda – the promotion of women to position of influence as well as exposing IZUN women to government corporations. Thanks to the Knesset Member Ms. Ben Ari, at the end of 2016 Jasmine was awarded “The Israeli Parliament (Knesset) Speakers` Quality of Life Prize” for its work on promoting a respectful and tolerant society.
Moreover, along with the program’s progress, Jasmine works with The Israeli Directors’ Union which supports the distribution of the program and managed to raise interest and greater awareness to women serving on board of directors, among the larger corporations in Israel. Furthermore, we work with Entropy Group that provides holistic consulting solutions including Enterprise Risk Management (ERM), Corporate Governance and Regulation. They have developed a database for financial companies, from which companies can receive information about women candidates for board positions. Following Jasmine’s close cooperation with Entropy, the program participants receive a discount in registration for the database. This process emphasizes the great importance in bringing existing and future directors together, the real impact of such networking, which has a significant influence on these women and their future path. The participation and personal involvement of such senior authorities and the mentors of the program raised the awareness as well as issues of gender equality and company’s policies. Such awareness is exactly the outcome that can significantly contribute to the creation of the right environment for those women who participated in the program, once they apply for director or other decision-making positions.
As a result of IZUN program, chairmen of corporations such as Israel Electric Company and Strauss Group have made a significant change in their training programs and policies regarding the integration on women directors. 26 chairmen and directors promoting IZUN program over 10 years are acting directors serving in companies traded on the stock exchange in areas such as: insurance, investments, banks, food, government corporations, security etc. These directors joined IZUN program based on their personal belief in the program (90% of the directors are women). The directors have committed to the program and are mentoring each participant on their way fulfill their goals. The more women will be in key positions and will work to promote other women, the number of women directors will increase dramatically. We are already witnessing the success in IZUN program, a change in the women participating perception. In several occasions some of the directors participating in the program have recommended the program graduates for various positions. For example, Ms. Dalia Lev, Director in Shufesal – Israel’s leading retail food chain and Strauss Group have recommended on an IZUN graduate for a position in Shufersal. Ms. Zipa Karmon director for Delta Company and a mentor in IZUN program. A personal mentor for one of the program graduates joining Delta.
Assessment and feedback
During the program, Jasmine held regular conversations with the participants, to obtain feedback, comments and thoughts for improvement and to see how the women were able to progress toward achieving their goals and objectives. Ms. Shirit Dolev said that beyond knowledge, the program gave her strength and to see women from all sectors in Israel. “I really enjoy the program. I come from a very masculine place and this environment of the program empowers me”. As part of her professional work, she can impart a message and influence the young generation that is the future generation and she intends to do so. Mrs. Sharon Rashi Elkesalasi shared that: “Through the program I was exposed to another world, to understand how decisions are made on different levels. At the beginning of the program I thought I would integrate into small companies but as the program continued, and I met directors, I opened my mind.” In addition, we saw the networking between the participants, cooperation opportunities emerged during the process and were translated into action, benefiting from mutual support and encouragement, during the weekly meetings. The networking process had a profound impact on these women, an opportunity to learn from fellow participants, learning from each other’s achievements and success. Ms. Adi Endevelt indicated that: “The program was indeed a unique forum, combining obtaining very useful tools and learning from an amazing group of quality women, a true source of inspiration and empowerment.” According to Tamar Rahamim ” Jasmine’s “Izun” Program have emphasized the importance of creating a mix of diverse women from all sectors and fields.
From meeting to meeting, we discover a wonderful and extraordinary human quality that can raise important issues and influence the Israeli economy. I am happy about the connection I made with the participants of the “IZUN” program, which already making extraordinary cooperation.” Tamar is a religious woman holds a law degree and now running for local council.
IZUN program graduates’ cycles 1 and 2 have demonstrated both personal and professional growth. They all have expressed their gratitude and satisfaction from the program.
According to the program goals as specified in our request, we have accomplished the following:
- 23 participants were accepted to the program;
- Attendance in 80% of meetings;
- Personal and professional advancement as well as implementation of theoretical studies;
- Policy change among decision-makers;
- Integration of program graduates as directors or board members during and after the program;
- Promotion of women activism by working with organizations promoting women or mentoring other women regarding business issues;
- The recognition and recruitment of governmental and social cooperation in IZUN program and its importance to women;
We have been working on an intensive marketing program, over 80 women have applied to participate the program. 23 Jewish and Arab women were chosen after an interview and meeting the program criteria. All women participated in all the meetings and completed their assignments. At the end of each meeting the participants filled out a satisfaction questionnaire in order to learn about the participants satisfaction and needs. At the end of the academic session an external party operated an evaluation process that included an open discussion and a questionnaire regarding the academic session and the participants expectations prior to the implementation session. The implementation session was developed based on the participants evaluation. A great emphasis was given to applied knowledge and relevant tools that will enable it. All lectures focused on simulations in order to let the participants experience close to reality scenarios. The program leaders observed the participants during their simulations regarding their managerial skills. Some of the participants stood out in terms of decision-making, assertiveness etc. In this session the women understood the importance of business networking with the business and governmental corporation community. One of the participants missions was to identify their target audience and meet with them in order to promote their goal. Each participant reported on her progress. We have seen success among the participants. Many of the participants expanded their target audience and met with directors of corporations such as: AFIGroup, Migdal Insurance, Israel Discount Bank, TEVA etc.
At the end of the second part of the program an external evaluation was made by an external company in order to examine the personal and professional progress of each participant. The participants evaluations of the program were extremely high.
Jasmine worked and is working in order to make a significant change among policy makers in order to lead a change in policy and integrate women as influencing directors. As part of the program Jasmine initiated and carried out a joint event with the program partner organizations: women influencing in the center. The goal of the event was to create and strengthen the awareness among women to their ability to reach every goal they choose.
Out of two cycles IZUN women obligated to the promotion of women activism through Jasmine and other organizations promoting women. Part of the program graduates are developing with Jasmine the ‘Future Generation Forum – Jasmine’s Women’s Economic Leadership’. A forum working for the promotion and empowerment of the next generation of women.
Impact of the program
The personal mentoring stage is focus on its contribution to the empowerment, helping the participants to prepare for the actual board of directors’ position, the desired qualities and requirements of a director. Jasmine monitors the actual achievements and progress of the graduates of the program and keeps close touch with them, after the program cycle is completed. Jasmine’s goal is to establish a strong foundation for the best effective program model, to ensure its continuation in the coming years and multiple cycles, achieving a critical mass and have an actual impact by training and supporting as many women as possible. Ms. Ilanit Tirosh, an international real estate development and investment manager, former Managing Partner at Cukierman Real Estate, decided to join IZUN, to become a director and have an even greater influence on policies and agendas, serving as a director – a true decision-making position. Ilanit’s progress since the program was rather fast, as she was strongly encouraged by the mentors to apply for a director position right away. She is currently a finalist for a director position in one of the larger corporations in Israel. Ilanit’s IZUN experience was very positive: “Thanks to the program I had a chance to further expand my knowledge on director’s duties and to meet an inspiring mentor that was truly committed to the cause and presented me with real opportunity to serve on board of directors.”
Results and achievements: Women in decision-making positions
We would like to bring to your attention that from the beginning of the first cycle and as of today: 3 graduates were included as directors in various organizations. 5 graduates passed an interview to the board of directors of the Corporate Directors Team. We are honored to report that recently, Dr. Angel Kakunda Al-Kafel Ramleh Super Pharm Concessionaire and IZUN program participant. Dr. Al-Kafel was accepted to serve as a director at the State Employees Union. The State Employees Union is part of the General Federation of Labor in Israel “Histadrut”. It represents all the civil servants in the country. When Dr. Angel received the news, she immediately called Jasmine’s CEO, Ms. Kiram Baloum and thanked her personally. She said: “I met amazing women at Jasmine, whom I learned from, to look at the business world from a different perspective”. Dr. Al-Kafel mentor invited her to watch few board meetings and prepare together all relevant materials. Dr. Al-Kafel mentor noted her commitment and diligence. Dr. Al-Kafel has a Ph.D. in Pharmacy, MBA business management Super Pharm Concessionaire in Ramle: “I have receved two mentors. One of my mentors (after receiving legal approval) invited me to observe board meetings he is participating. Prior to each meeting I was reading all the materials so I will be able to analyze the meeting with my mentor afterwards. My mentor assisted me and encouraged me to enroll to the Government Companies Authority – Ministry of Finance. I passed a complex interview and provided a list of five recommenders. Today, I’m part of this team. As a result I’m a director in a government company and now, Jasmine is helping me to be accepted as a director in Delta company. I am always looking for additional opportunities. Jasmine is always by my side”.
Ms. Avital Zarur, CPA: “I have received two mentors as part of the program, both of them are acting directors in companies traded on the stock exchange. It was extremely interesting to be mentored by two mentors, I was enriched by both of them. I have applied to the Government Companies Authority – Ministry of Finance. I passed a complex interview and provided a list of five recommenders. Although I was not excepted to be part of the group, I planned my professional way and I am receiving all necessary help from Jasmine. IZUN program is an asset to all women! Today, I’m contributing to the promotion of Jasmine and I believe that women should be in the center in order to influence”.
Furthermore, 1 graduate became chairman of Kibbutz Lehavot Haviva. Ms. Keren Michaeli, Adv. :”The program enables you to bring yourself. It touched the small things that are stopping us daily. As a result of IZUN program I have made a change and applied to be the chairman of Kibbutz Lehavot Haviva. I was chosen! Today, I’m a legal advisor to a leading bank in Israel. I recommend IZUN program because it focuses on gender. This is what makes it unique. The program deals with the challenges women brings to the professional world, social norms, personal perceptions, interpretations etc. Thanks to the program I understood that I can deal with everything and learn about everything. It strengthens my faith in myself and my sense of ability”.
3 Graduates were incorporated as members of various management committees of national organizations. In addition, the following frameworks that were created during the first cycle, successfully continued beyond the scope of the original program cycle: (1) Several participants have established strong professional ties with their mentors and both parties, including the mentors, expressed their interest to further continue the mentoring, beyond the initial program scope. This ongoing process is an indicator of the importance of mentoring, as a key part of the program. (2) The great interest expressed by the participants to learn more and continue the networking process, led to a creation of IZUN forum, an infrastructure that allows women who wish to become directors, to continue and obtain advanced knowledge, to meet key decision makers and top companies’ directors and promote business networking processes. (3) The participants and graduates of the program initiated, more than ever, to demand appointments. Women began to see themselves as potential candidates.
For example, Ms. Shuruk Atamna, BA in Medical Laboratory Sciences, MA in Microbiology, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, working on the promotion and positioning of MSD prescription drugs for target population in the Arab community, participant of the 2018 cycle and was mentored by Ms. Galia Albin Leading Israeli businesswoman served as a Chairperson of Friends of the Tel Aviv Cinematheque; and has been for the past ten years the Chairman of the Israeli National Council for the Child. C.E.O Almedia Holdings LTD and Member of the board of leading public companies in the fields of industry, finance, commerce, technology and real estate. Ms. Atamna has already built a strategy that will advance her to a senior position. Ms. Atamna contacted the Israel Diabetes Association and is applying for the chair position, at the extension committee in the Arab sector. Ms. Atamna is working on the development of Initiatives promoting public health, promoting women and narrowing cultural gaps. “I have always seen myself as an ambassador, an entrepreneur, an ambitious, proactive and caring person for the immediate and distant surroundings. I would like to be in a key position where I can influence and advance women”. Ms. Atamna mentor in the program is Ms. Avivit Peleg, Peleg Investments CEO. Ms. Atamna is a graduate of IZUN program, second cycle.
Liron Porat IZUN program participant, second cycle. Liron has an extensive financial, entrepreneurial and management background: credit management, credit risk analysis and transactions, while making decisions for leading companies operating in Israel and around the world such as Israel Chemicals Ltd., Teva, Israel Aerospace Industries. CEO and owner of a firm providing: lectures, strategic consulting and business development for managers in corporations, companies, financial organizations and entrepreneurs. The program met Liron with key people in positions of influence. Liron was able to leverage these meetings to get to know more deeply and create working relationships with them. One of them is Mr. Mody Keret, a director of Issta and Bezeq, a partner in a financial company. Mr. Keret is Liron’s mentor in the program. Liron: “To me, IZUN is more than a program. It is a commitment and mutual responsibility. The mentoring process was empowering and important”. Liron aspires to be a director and works towards achieving the goal.
Jasmine holds conferences to increase awareness to the gender gap across the country, through conferences and lectures to raise awareness and to promote equal opportunities. The representatives are committed to a continuous process of implementation and promotion of gender equality. The last conference, “Women in the center of influence” took place on 24/07/2018, with the participation of business executives, members of the board of directors of public companies including: Ms. Ester Levanon, former CEO of the Israel Stock Exchange, today she is a member of the Board of Directors of Leumi Bank. Mr. Yiftah Ron Tal, Chairman of the IEC Board of Directors. IEC – Israel Electric Corporation is the largest supplier of electrical power in Israel. Dr. Samer Haj Yahya is an international expert in economics, banking, financial markets, investments and management. Today, he serves as a director at Bank Leumi and a member of several of his committees. And graduates of the “IZUN” program: “We most not consider any stigmas that will prevent us from to progress. I could have said that because I’m Arab I will not be promoted or even considered for promotion. It is not right! We must believe in ourselves in order achieve our goals. I’m in a key position because of my skills and abilities”.
Please see the invitation to the conference: http://2link.co/lp/index.php?id=60
The purpose of the conference was to expand the scope for creating women’s influential economic leadership – the future generation. During the conference, we delivered a clear message, that nothing can stop a determined woman, we invite women to make their voices heard and choose the ways in which they can influence. Jasmine’s goal is to create stronger female economic leadership in Israel by emphasizing the importance of the “pay-it-forward” approach. To “educate” women to become role models as well as inspire and empower other women, indirectly. During her lecture, Mrs. Eva Medzhibuz, Chairman of the Committee on the Status of Women and Gender Equality, emphasized that “Women who reach key positions must realize that part of their agenda is promoting other women. Sisterhood is part of the key to promoting a more egalitarian society.” We are pleased to announce that in this significant conference, we have also launched the “Future Generation Forum – Jasmine’s Women’s Economic Leadership”. The forum will be led by Ms. Rotem Eliahu. Ms. Eliahu is graduate of the 2018 cycle. Ms. Eliahu doctoral student and aspiring director, Rotem is working vigorously to expand her sphere of influence, and continue to promote social and educational projects. “ I have been following Jasmine for several years and the connection was natural to me once I decided that this was my way. I believe that in a society where individuals in key positions and public positions are worthy representatives in an egalitarian and gender-oriented manner, real change can be made, because only so can the attention to the totality of society’s needs be balanced and can be promoted in the best possible way”.
The conference is an integral part of IZUN program. The conference goal is to expose the importance of the integration of women in Influential positions. Our key speakers were people that believed in Jasmine and in the program, people that obligated to make a change in policy and promote women to management position – Ms. Regina Enger, CPA – director in several corporations such as REFAEL a governmental cooperate. Regina is a mentor in IZUN program. Regina promoted and supports the integration of women in managerial positions. Regina led the conference professionally and gracefully. Opening the conference Jasmine’s CEO, Ms. Kiram Baloum emphasized the importance of the integration of women in key positions as women can be good partners in the decision-making process as they are using both their hearts and minds combined with good managing skills. Mrs. Baloum called upon all participants to promote the subject and asked the women in the crowd to take action and not wait to be called, “we should stop saying the male world will not allow us to integrate, you are aware and you have the professional tools, make your own gift: plan, aspire, promote. Don’t give up. The road was paved by brave women. Be like them! We are convinced that we owe it to ourselves, to promote women and be in the center of the influence”.
Mr. Yiftach Ron-Tal, Chairman of the IEC Board of Directors: “In the governmental corporation led by me there is a significant representation of women directors, Jewish and Arab, I think it is good for the corporation and promotes it. Women in key positions is good for the economy”.
Ms. Ester Levanon former Tel Aviv Stock Exchange CEO (28 years) serves as a director in Bank Leumi and several corporations: “I’m for the integration of women. As the TASE CEO I have promoted an integration of more than 80% women in managerial positions. I was always working on promoting women”. Levanon is a mentor in IZUN program.
Future Generation Forum – Jasmine’s Women’s Economic Leadership
Forum members signed the Convention and committed themselves to take an active role in promoting themselves and promoting influential women leaders:
The covenant is an expression of good will, reflecting a broad consensus on the establishment of a relationship between graduates of the “IZUN” program. The covenant is derived from the spirit of time, and the aspiration of graduates of the program to act with awareness and social-economic responsibility for Israeli society, and especially for the advancement of the status of women within it, considering a unique socio-economic and cultural reality. Members of the Forum take upon themselves: To serve as a model for influential and valuable women’s leadership. Graduates of the “IZUN” program are committed to encourage women to integrate into senior positions according to their qualifications.
We are proud to present the signed covenant
The program’s graduates’ forum will address two main needs and will operate in two central circles –
The Inner circle and External circle:
Strengthening the inner circle- The forum’s first goal is to strengthen business and personal relationships between the forums members and graduates of the program over the following years. Therefore, they created digital business cards that will pass through the forum members and will enable the group members to get to know each other better. And allow the forum members to establish contact with each other.
Strengthening the External circle- The second goal is to provide a framework for continuing the program. Create a female forum that works to promote a common goal of the forum graduates and Jasmine. A framework of regular meetings, through the year, once every two months. The meetings will include joint thinking in various fields as a platform that addresses the needs of women.
Jasmine have trained 53 Jewish and Arab women in two cycles over 2017-2018.
The second cycle have not been finished yet. The participants finished the academic and the practicable parts of the program. They are in the midst of the mentoring part. 23 women started the program and 23 women finished. 19 women were chosen to receive personal mentoring. This phase will be reported at the end of 2018.
One of our mentors is Dr. Angel Kakunda Al-Kafel, a graduate of the first cycle, IZUN program.
We are already preparing for the third cycle and many women are showing interest. Our graduates are marketing their own experience of success and empowerment. We are at the stage of development and resource development of the third cycle.
An example for a membership card in IZUN graduates Forum: Dr. Sharon Rashi-Elkals, Co-founder and CEO of EVE-Femtech Hub. Dr. Rashi-Elkals would like to increase the number of women in key positions in the BIO-MED Industry and in the health system. Dr. Rashi-Elkals would like to be a mentor for young entrepreneurs.
Another example is Ms. Ilanit Harel-Tirosh. Partner in IR Hotels and Resorts Company. Ms. Harel-Tirosh has MBA in business management. Ms. Harel-Tirosh would like to encourage young women to study engineering, technology, science, real estate and economics in order for them to integrate in key positions.