Our Annual Celebration of International Women's Day
As part of its annual tradition, the Tel Aviv University Alumni Organization, led by Sigalit Ben Hayoun, celebrated International Women's Day in a festive Webinar with inspiring and world-changing alumnae.
The online event was opened by Prof. Ilana Eli, Gender Equality Adviser to the President of Tel Aviv University, who revealed some numbers: half of all Israeli university students are women, but they make up only 20 percent in the full professor rank.
The panel was moderated by Lee Abramovich, Consumer & Tourism correspondent at the Channel 12 news company, Alumna of the TAU Faculty of Social Sciences, and was participated by:
- Dr. Sharon Shacham, Founder and President of Karyopharm Therapeutics, Alumna of the TAU Faculties of Exact Sciences, Life Sciences and the Coller School of Management
- Adv. Shulamit Geri, General Director of the Bank of Israel, Alumna of the Buchmann Faculty of Law
- Tzipi Pines, Theatre Director & Producer, Director and Artistic Director of Beit Lisin Theater by Baruch Ivcher, Alumna of of the TAU Faculty of the Arts
Lee Abramovich arrived to TAU directly from the kibbutz and felt that she had reached the pinnacle of her ambitions: "Many articles and research I did in the beginning of my career were based on the inspiration I received from my studies in the School of Psychology and the Department of Communication - I have acquired tools at TAU that serve me to this day".
Tzipi Pines said that her parents, both Holocaust survivors, designated her to be a teacher "because there are a lot of vacations", and only when her son Guy was four years old did she begin her studies at TAU. "I wanted to study theater but I was told it was not a profession, it was a way of life... so I took classes from other departments as well. I forgot about home and was only busy with studies".
The other speakers asked Tzipi how does she react when she is said to be a strong woman. "For me it was a matter of development, I had no other dream except being in the theater. I was not born here and Hebrew was not my mother tongue, things happened over time. Being strong is not a terrible thing, no need to be ashamed of it".
Shulamit Geri revealed that she served in the IDF in the military band, and also worked as a model: “I grew up in a small moshav in the Upper Galilee, and I had a dream of doing justice and becoming a lawyer. TAU has summoned new challenges into my life, and my law studies have provided me with analytical tools, which I use to this day.
For 17 years I worked at the Weizmann Institute, and for the last 8 years at the institute I served as the institute's director general and vice president of administration and finance. Then, I ran for the position of General Director of the Bank of Israel and to my delight, I was chosen".
Sharon Shacham shared that during her nine years of chemistry at TAU she gave birth to her two children, and so she did not get the full ‘sunbathing on the campus grass’ experience. "The study environment has given me the most important tool – knowing how to think. How do you approach a problem, define it and present a solution? I pass that on to my employees today".
In addition, she noted that "in the United States, people are organized according to university alumni organizations, and it is very difficult to establish a company in the United States, and especially in Boston, when I am Sharon from Raanana, with no ties to any of these cliques. I was lucky that my husband is from this world, in the John Hopkins community and other places as well, and that is exactly why I am so happy that the Tel Aviv University Alumni Organization was established and creates this type of network for us in Israel as well. I hope it will achieve great things".
They all agreed that female management differs from male management in a number of parameters - from loyalty to the workplace to listening methods; That the last year has been terrible and that we have learned a lot of things about ourselves as women.
Their tip: "It is important to dream because dreams create reality, dreams strengthen and give power. Raise the bar time and time again."
Among the alumni and alumnae who watched the live event in real time:
Judge Daniela Cherizli; Judge Varda ben Shahar; Adva Rogalin, CEO at Kibbutz Ga'ash Commercial Properties; Rivka Lazovsky, former Global Chairwoman of WIZO; Amir Abramovich, Group CEO at Plazit-Polygal; Dganit Palti, Former CFO at EL AL Israel Airlines,and many others