Empty words over women

October 24, 2013

The elevation of Karnit Flug to the governorship of the Bank of Israel is, in one sense, entirely unremarkable. As the acting governor, she was an obvious successor (despite being third choice in the hiring process).

But, in another sense, it is an object lesson to Britain generally, and to British Jewry in particular. A few days before Dr Flug’s appointment, Lilach Asher-Topilsky became CEO of the Israel Discount Bank. Bank Leumi and First International Bank also have women at the top.

That means that three of Israel’s top five banks have female CEOs, Bank Hapoalim’s controlling shareholder is a woman, and now the central bank itself has a female governor. How very male it makes our own City seem. Yet by comparison with the current make-up of the main leadership and honorific positions in British Jewry, even the City is way ahead.

Yes, there are — a few — women. But we are, in our representative and communal bodies, overwhelmingly male. And, for all the expressed commitment to change, there is precious little evidence of it beyond fine words. Our community is put to shame by Israel.

    Last updated: 12:47pm, October 24 2013