Mossad chief: A woman can lead the Mossad

Tamir Pardo: Women have the edge over men in multitasking - to carry out the mission and to survive.

"We're soldiers without guns. Our weapons are only between our ears. Our capabilities are based on our invisibility. Women are not only just as capable in what I call secret warfare, they actually have a great advantage, says Mossad Director Tamir Pardo.

"In this kind of warfare, our lives depend on our ability to multitask; in other words, to act in several channels simultaneously, to carry out the mission on one hand, and to survive on the other. Women have the edge over men in this area. It's harder for men - that's the way we were born and there's nothing you can do about it.

"In operations in the field, the number of women equals the number of men. Fighting women are at the Mossad's heart. Why are there no women in senior positions at the Mossad? It's their choice, not the organization's."

Pardo says, "Women start at the Mossad at younger ages, because if you bring a 23-year old man and a 23-year old woman to the induction training, the men wouldnt stand a chance of passing. The men would fail. That is because they mature later. There is no problem in taking a 22-year old discharged woman soldier into the Mossad. But men? Dont even try. They won't succeed at these ages. There is no point in even calling them in for an interview. They mature much more slowly."

He adds, "Another thing, women are skilled at perception. We take people with the same level of intelligence and identical basic skills, and we see the supremacy of women's performance in terms of outstanding perception of the field, reading of situations, and broad perception, all of which goes against the stereotype. They also have good technical skills. When they're good, they're very good. As commanders, they can get outstanding results from the team, especially if its a mixed team of men and women."

Pardo continues, "It's easier for women to forego ego, to look at the mission, and less at the ego. The moment you give them the mission, they do extraordinary work. Every mission I gave to a man, something you cannot imagine, the women do just as well. Women also know how to act much better than men.

"As for overcoming fear, we're all afraid. The issue of fear crosses gender. The statistics are the same. Courage is the ability to overcome fear. Fear is what enables us to function properly. If we find people without fear at the Mossad, it's something I dont want to see. It's dangerous, because such people dont know caution.

"Women also have endurance. Their endurance is not only equal to men, it's higher. We havent faced a higher proportion of women failing induction than men. Here, women can combine career and family and do wonderful things. The equality of opportunities here is higher than average. In the future, we'll have a large number of women filling decision-making positions at the Mossad, because women are suited for change. I see nothing to prevent a woman from heading the Mossad. It's a fact that a woman headed Britain's secret service. There are women in senior positions at other intelligence services.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on October 3, 2012

Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2012

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