By Nessa Rapoport and Emily Milder, Charles H. Revson Foundation
A nation’s most valuable resource is the brainpower of its citizens. Today, in the knowledge-based economies of the West and, increasingly, of the globe, no country can afford to neglect half its talent.
Among tenured researchers in the hard sciences, women continue to be severely underrepresented. Now Israel has developed a tailored intervention to address the disparity.
At the start of the new millennium, it was clear to the senior leadership of the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel’s premier research center, that they had a problem. Only 13% of the Institute’s tenured faculty members were women, despite the fact that women had been granted 50% of Weizmann’s Ph.Ds.
The disparity was not limited to Weizmann. There was a significant gap between the number of men and women who were tenured research scientists in all of Israel.
What was responsible for the gap—and what could be done to redress it?