The Ministry of Economy's flagship program for promoting women in business and industry is underway. Over the past year, the Ministry of Economy and Industry has worked to formulate a multi-dimensional program to promote women's entrepreneurship. As part of the program, the Ministry of Economy and Industry offers a series of benefits for women under four central bodies in the ministry.
- The Investment Authority will grant preference to women-controlled businesses in the framework of grants under the Encouragement of Capital Investments Law, in the total amount of NIS 15 million per year.
- The Authority for Innovation will offer increased financing for start-up companies in the framework of grants for the track of start-up companies, in the total amount of NIS 36 million in the first year.
- The Small and Medium Enterprises Agency will offer a series of courses and training programs, as well as assistance and accompaniment in financing processes for women-owned businesses, at a total investment of NIS 60 million per year.
- The Director of Foreign Trade will grant preference to women-controlled businesses in the framework of export grants, in the total amount of NIS 10 million per year. In total, the Ministry of Economy will invest approximately NIS 121 million in a variety of special programs to promote women in business.
As part of its background work, the firm analyzed the factors and manifestations of gender disparities between men and women in entrepreneurship and ownership of businesses, including data collection, analysis of case studies from Israel and abroad, and interviews with experts in the field. In addition, the firm launched a survey in cooperation with the Manufacturers' Association, which was distributed to over 3,000 women in Israeli industry. The findings of the study found that gender disparities increase as women rise to the top of the ranks and are increasingly expressed in management, entrepreneurship and ownership of businesses and industrial enterprises in Israel. Today, women are only 22% of the managers in the industry, only 10% of the technological entrepreneurs and only about a third of the business owners in Israel.
Promoting the presence of women in managerial and business administration levels, in addition to their contribution to the economy and the economy, will affect the situation of women in a two-way manner: from top to bottom, by introducing a gender-friendly work environment and work procedures, integrating women at all levels of business, ; And in the opposite direction, creating an employment-management horizon for women in business, creating additional role models in the senior management layer, and directly facilitating the process of establishing new businesses by providing financial assistance and special grants.
Main findings of the study
• Women constitute only 22% of the managers in industry, and the number of women who own a factory is significantly lower than the number of men in the industry (Manufacturers Association data)
• Only 10.5% of the projects established in Israel between the years 2014-2017 were led by women (SNC)
• In 2016, women constituted only 32% of the self-employed population in Israel, and their income was significantly lower than that of self-employed men: the average monthly income of an independent woman was NIS 7,675 and that of an independent man was NIS 13,272, a difference of 42.2%. (Agency data for small and medium businesses)
• More than one-third of the women were employed in 2017 in "traditional feminine" occupations, which are characterized by a lower monthly wage: nursing, teaching, social work, etc., and constituted more than 70% of the employed in these professions.
pictures: ofir aibi and yosi zamir