The smallest gaps in salary between men and women are among policemen, firemen and prison guards. The median salary for women in these professions was 5000 NIS/month compared to 5500 NIS for men as reported by the Committee on the Status of Women and Gender Equality under the auspices of MK Aliza Lavie. The percentage of women in these occupations stands only at 13% though. Small gaps also exist among engineers and computer technicians, although women only make up 28% of those industries.
Chairwoman of the Committee MK Aliza Lavie: Despite legislation that obligates equal pay for men and women, the facts show major gaps. There are those who say that the legislation that protects women in fact hurts them, that there are employers who think twice before hiring a woman. We also need to take this into account. It is impossible to correct the situation of the men are not with us in the struggle for equality. The two biggest obstacles to equality in the job market are not enough girls are choosing engineering and computing, while too many girls are picking irrelevant professions. The other obstacle is the beauty model. Who do girls want to be like? Are their role models the Head of the Bank of Israel or television star models? Does she think that because she doesn`t look like a model, which she thinks society demands from her, that she is no good and therefore does not actualize her potential? We need to direct the girls in high school to learn the professions that they are dissuaded from because of the belief in their abilities. For too many years we have focused on legislation over direction.”
In the occupations where women work in similar rates as men, for instance such as those in academic institutions, journalists, artists, athletes and financial and business agents, men make more than women. The gaps among professors are especially noticeable. The median salary of a female professor is 63% of their male colleagues and 71% of the average. The main reason is the low representation of women in senior positions. Only 26% of senior academic positions were filled by women (only 14% of professors are women).
The profession that has the most men in comparison to women is driving. A male driver makes 7590 NIS on average and females make 6630 NIS on average. The second profession is engineering and architects where males make 21,390 NIS on average compared to 13,920 NIS for females. Among managerial positions men make 21,170 NIS and women make 14,860 NIS.
”Male” occupations tend to have an expectation of long working hours. Those who don`t spend enough time are seen as less committed to the career and their chances of promotion are reduced. Mothers leave these jobs in higher rates than men. The more that the work hours increase, so does the gap.
Another problem with ”female” occupations in that the skills traditionally connected with women`s work are less valued, something that leads to lower salaries. Lawyer Dana Naor Mendel from the women`s lobby: ”Why do social workers need to make so much less than economists? Does it reflect social values?”