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Aug. 26—Across the Israeli economy, women earn on average about 32 percent less than men in equivalent employment, and in the high-tech sector that disparity widens to 45 percent, according to a recent study by the Economy Ministry's Equal Employment Opportunities Commission.
The commission said it took a closer look at the high-tech sector because of its high status and reputation for high productivity and high potential for earnings but found that the pride of the Israeli economy also perpetuates its broadest gender gap. The situation is so bad, according to the EEOC, that “for women high-tech employment almost doesn't pay financially, because it leaves them at salary and pension contribution levels that are similar to other wage earners in the country.”
According to the newly available Central Bureau of Statistics data used in the EEOC analysis, men in high-tech occupations earned an average gross salary of 15,800 shekels per month ($4,100) in 2013, compared with an average for women of 8,771 shekels ($2,300). While the average high-tech salary for women was not significantly higher than the average pay for women in general—7,280 shekels ($1,900)—male high-tech employees in 2013 earned about 50 percent more than the 10,683-shekel ($2,800) average made by men in the general workforce.
Wage discrimination creates a long-term income gap, and pension contribution disparities between men and women are even greater than the wage gap, in part perhaps because employers' contributions to pension plans in the high-tech sector are often a matter of individual negotiation.
Typically, the wage gap grows in more senior positions; in R&D and core technology positions, which are dominated by men; and in positions where all salaries are higher than the norm, such as programmers and engineers.
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For more information on Israeli HR law and regulation, see the Israel primer.
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