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FriendlyEmployer"Award:"
Thisawardprojectwasbornin1994,whenafewprivatebodiesdecidedtoresearch
theproblemofwork-familyissuesforIsraeliwomenintheworkplace.Followinga
shortresearchforastoryfortheNaamatMagazine(aperiodical),ZiviaCohen,(then
editorofthispaper),andMiraJenik,decidedtolaunchapublicannouncementfor
organizationstoparticipateinacontest,wherebytheprizewillbeawardedtothe
companywhichappreciateswomenandinvestsintheiradvancement.
TheideaforthisawardwasmotivatedbythesuccessfuleffortsoftheAmerican
magazine"WorkingMother".
TheobjectivesoftheFriendlyEmployerProjectweretofostergreaterawareness
aboutwomen'sissues,andabouttheimportanceofwork-familybalanceinthe
workplace,andtomotivatepublicandprivateemployerstosupporttheneedsof
women.
Thisprojectwascarriedoutfor4years(1994-1997)withthehelpofNaamat,and
supportoftheGovernmentServiceandtheManufacturersAssociation.Manydozens
ofemployersparticipatedinthecontesteveryyear,somereturningyearafteryear,
showingimprovementinthestatusofwomenemployedintheirmidst.

Lastyear,2003,thisimportantproject wasrevived,andwiththehelpofa
publiccommitteecomprisedofsomeofIsrael'smostprominentdignitaries,theaward
wasgiveninthePresident'sHomeinJerusaleminJune.
Israeliwomenhavenotyetenjoyedagraetvarietyofwomen-friendlyemploymentto
choosefrom.Manyworkplacesprotectwomenfromharshemploymentconditions,
andIsraeliwomenareentitledtomanyprivileges(suchasafully-paid12week
maternityleavewithjobsecurity).Buttherateofwomengettingintoexecutive
positionisveryslow,andinallsectorswomendonotreceiveequalpay.
Thereisalotthatneedstobedoneintheareaofwomen-friendlypractices.

Mydreamisthatinthenearfuture,moreandmoreIsraeliemployerswillformulate
programsforadvancementofwomentoexecutivepositions,managementand
leadershiptrainingforwomen,andspecialrecruitingandretainingpracticesthattake
intoaccountthespecialpotentialofwomenintheworkforce.




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