Helping Trailblazing Haredi Women in the Workplace
JDC-TEVET has pioneered programs throughout Israel that are transforming the Haredi communities and introducing men and women into the workforce for the first time. But not all Haredim are settling into their first jobs — many men and women ascend quickly in the business world once they’ve tapped their own potential. Movilot, or “Female Leaders” in Hebrew, offers support to trailblazing Haredi women who have risen to middle management, and need help to continue their success.
As women are the principal breadwinners in many Haredi households, they are far more likely to work towards an academic degree than their husbands. But largely due to the absence of professional and social networks in their communities, these women are often relegated to junior or, at most, middle management positions. What’s more, according to a 2012 study by the Israeli Ministry of Finance, Haredi women earn 46% less than secular women on average.
Movilot aims to extend JDC-TEVET’s continuum of support for Haredi women throughout their employment journey. Empowering these women will begin a ripple effect of change among Haredi communities and corporate environments alike. Movilot was established in 2013 as a set of workshops and individual and group sessions for participating women to create personalized career paths, share experiences and address the issues and conflicts particular to Haredi career women.
Often coming from communities where employment still carries a stigma, Movilot women benefit greatly from a unique space where they are surrounded by like-minded, ambitious peers. Only women with higher education degrees and mid-level jobs are accepted to Movilot, while success in the program is measured by an increase in one or more of a woman’s salary, hours and professional responsibility. Of the first group of 16 women to participate in Movilot sessions, 10 have already been promoted or took new, higher positions in different companies. The power of the program simply can’t be denied.