Hana Hertsman's Blog

Posts from the “woman” Category

What Makes an Outstanding Employee and Why Women are No Longer Afraid to Excel?

Posted on February 7, 2017

Recently we held our annual Outstanding Employee of the Year Awards here in Holon Municipality in which we honored 6 of our outstanding employees in addition to one outstanding staff.

While the average organization usually provides one specific service, the municipality provides a wide range of different services – education, culture, eldercare, family life and private and public physical environment are all just a part of the responsibilities being held by the municipality. Therefore, the city’s both directors and employees represent a wide variety of professions and expertise, despite the diversity we can find a common ground and joint characteristics between those who outstand.

The outstanding employee will be the one you can always relay on, the one doing his tasks to the fullest, a team-player focusing both on the micro and macro. This employee will not break under pressure, he will be an initiative leader for his co-workers and patient and empathic service giver. He will be an inspiration to his colleagues and a good influence to the entire workplace.

These virtues among others were part of the criteria for choosing our outstanding employees. I take pride in the fact that here in Holon Municipality, a lean-management organization with a relatively low number of employees, we are able to find each and every year a large group of employees meeting these criteria. Not only we find these employees to be praiseworthy, It is important for us to honor them since they are a significant part of our success with following the city’s policies and meeting the city’s goals.

This year, accidently or not, all of our Outstanding Employees of the Year were women from across the municipality administrations. Is it a coincident that recently we witness an increasing presence of women getting their appreciation on their work publicly?

Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, in her book “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” writes: “Many women prefer to stay put and be safe in their career, which is another effect of gender stereotype. They avoid new challenges because they are unsure that they have the right skills. That can turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy. A study has shown that men apply for jobs when they feel they meet 60% of the skills requirements, whereas women only apply if they meet 100% of the requirements”

Sandberg calls for a perception change: “Women should not be afraid to take risks, pursue growth and challenges and ask for promotions” I feel as if these changes are already taking place, we can see more young women taking a different approach. They are no longer afraid to celebrate and publicly speak about their performances and their contribution to the system and to take risks and challenges they would not take before.

Congratulations, our Outstanding Employees and thank you for your significant contribution to the Municipality and the City.

Female Executives in Local Authorities

Posted on November 12, 2015

There seems to be a prevalent lack of accurate data and information regarding the actual numbers of female executives in local authorities, probably due to the fact that no regulation exists that requires the publication of such data.

Thus, we have neither a basis for comparison nor an index for improvement.

Nevertheless, based on the unofficial data we have collected, although the rate of women holding positions in local authorities is relatively high, the rate of female executives is rather low.

Data received from the Knesset Research and Information Center in 2011 suggest that in 55 local authorities, the rate of female executives stands at 0% (!), in 8 local authorities the rate stands at 1-9%, and in 48 local authorities the rate stands at 10-19%.

A 2014 study conducted by Adalya Consulting & Management and Dr. Itay Beeri presented the rate of women holding a series of senior positions: the rate of women serving as mayors stands at 3%; the rate of women serving as CEOs stands at 10%; the rate of women serving as municipal engineers stands at 13%; the rate of women serving as legal advisors stands at 24%; the rate of women serving as treasurers stands at around 11%. In the Education Department, the rate of female executives stands at 36% – which stands to reason, since education is perceived to be a more ‘feminine’ field.

In Holon Municipality we get a completely different picture: the rate of female employees stands at 70%, and the rate of female executives is just over 52%, making the majority of executives within Holon Municipality.

The researchers who conducted the afore-mentioned study were seeking to identify the factors that contribute to the exclusion of women from senior positions and from local government decision making processes, and to provide recommendations as to how this situation can be turned around.

Among their recommendations: advertising current data on the rate of female executives in order to raise awareness and turn the situation around, raising salaries of female executives who reside in peripheral areas so as to advance women of lower socio-economic status, implementing a policy of reserved slots while overcoming cultural prejudices, providing incentives to local authorities whose annual reports show a high rate of female executives, integrating women in tender committees, and assigning a dedicated consultant for the advancement of women within each local authority.

Without a doubt, women are just as capable of holding senior positions as men are, and we should find ways to fulfill the great potential that lies among our female employees, while motivating them to pursue successful careers and providing them with all the necessary managerial tools and leadership skills, for the benefit of all parties.

Organizational as well as personal incentives can make a change and allow women to pursue their dreams. As nature has it, all changes begin with one single seed, which sets the stage for all others to come. Once the model puts down its roots, women all over Israel will know that no goal is beyond their reach.