Feminine IZUN: the inspirational story of IZUN’s mentors and graduates

l.Meet Ricky Granot, director, lecturer and mentor of IZUN; and meet IZUN’s graduate, Ilanit Hare’el Tirosh, today director of her own company. This is how IZUN promotes female economic leadership in Israel

Meet Ricky Granot, 51, serving as a board member of the pension fund “Amitim”, a director in five public companies, Chairperson of the investment committee of Haifa University and director in Rambam Hospital. If all that isn’t enough, Ricky is also one of IZUN’s mentors, Jasmine’s program for promoting women to senior positions in leading companies in Israel.
IZUN’s participants who show excellency get personal accompaniment and guidance from mentors, who help them integrate in leading companies and organizations in the Israeli economy. These mentors, who are an inspiration and a success story by themselves, guide and accompany the participants in the most effective ways to reach senior positions, as directors and chairpersons of companies, including representations in local councils.

Ricky, like other leaders, joined Jasmine because she believes in its agenda and vision, and she contributes from her time to giving lectures and promoting common interests. “IZUN is led by successful and leading female figures in the Israeli economy, like Ricky, who is an inspiration. With the help of these women we succeeded to establish a female leadership, which pushes women up and supports them in integrating into influential key- positions. IZUN is part of a series of programs creating women leadership which will change the face of the Israeli community”, says Kiram Baloum, CEO and Founder of Jasmine– the first and only organization promoting women from all sectors in Israel.

Ricky’s connection with Jasmine began when Kiram approached her. “When Kiram and I met, she swept me away with her Jasmine breeze, her temperament and will to do and change things in the Israeli society and economy”, says Ricky, who has been active in Jasmine for the last 3 years. In IZUN, Ricky gives a lecture about “corporate governance and risk management in directors- directors in the new world”. This is only one of many things she does. Another thing is mentoring and accompanying participants of IZUN. To the question, does mentoring contribute anything to you, she answers: “it gives me a good feeling to help other women”. And about her role as director, Ricky says: “I ran into this directors’ thing by chance, after leaving my job in the stock market. I found it more exciting and interesting and allows exposure to leading companies in the Israeli market, to other fields of interest and to decision- making policies derived from strategic thinking, rather than from every day management”.
One of IZUN’s participants, who Ricky mentors is Ilanit Hare’el Tirosh, who works in real- estate. “Ilanit has a lot to give, she is familiar with the real- estate world, very smart and ambitious. I have met with Ilanit a few times during IZUN and helped her with networking and how the director’s world work”, says Ricky, who explains how she sees her part, “I enrich the participants with knowledge that I have from my experience, talk to them about the directors’ world. For example, I recommend they start as volunteer directors in organizations to gain experience and knowledge. This kick- start helps them integrate better into this world and gives them personal satisfaction. Also, I talk to them about finding leads and connections, promoting meetings with influential figures, attending conferences and personal exposure and marketing.”

As a mentor, is it important for you to give practical tools?
“Eventually, IZUN’s participants want to be directors. I manage their expectations and try to help them with the proper tools and guidance. I talk about responsibilities, positions, emphasis of board meetings, etc. This has given them knowledge and practical tools, but still, when you are a mentor it’s more than that. I try to give the added value from my personal experience”.

Ilanit Hare’el Tirosh, 49, with an MBA in business management, is today a partner in a leading real- estate company, promoting real- estate projects of hotels and international real- estate. She came to IZUN through a friend who recommended the program. “I enjoyed and learned a lot from IZUN”, says Ilanit, who decided to invest her time in developing her company, in which she also serves as a director.
“Ricky is a mentor and an amazing character, she is like a friend to me”, says Ilanit, “thanks to IZUN, I met Kiram, whom I applaud for doing such a great job in reaching out to women in the periphery areas. Kiram breaks through boundaries and brings women from all over Israel to join her. This is not a trivial thing, taking women from different sectors in which there is lack of awareness about women’s rights, and bring them to promoting themselves and building successful careers”.

Ricky and Ilanit’s story is one of many born from IZUN. So far, Jasmine has trained tens of women through IZUN to integrate into key- positions in the Israeli economy, senior positions in boards of organizations and companies. Kiram: “IZUN succeeded in creating an impact, and this is our way to make powerful women join us and work with us towards the same goal- increasing the percentage of women in key- positions in the Israeli economy, to bring social and economic change”.

Kiram points out Jasmine’s vision to reach equal representation of women from all over Israel: “every population in Israel, Jewish, Arab, Ultra- Orthodox, from the periphery or center, needs to reach a basic representation of women to bring social change in Israel”, says Kiram who pushes women every day to do better, knowing they are the real leaders of change.