Minority women most discriminated against in job market

Arab women Photo: Shutterstock

The Employment Diversity Index for 2018 calculates integration rates and salary levels in the private market for minority groups.

Academically educated Arab women are the most discriminated against in the Israeli labor market, according to the Employment Diversity Index for 2018 published today by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in the Prime Minister's Office, the Central Bureau of Statistics, and Tel Aviv University.

The index, which calculates integration rates and salary levels in the private market for minority groups (haredim (ultra-Orthodox Jews), Arabs, and Jewish immigrants from Ethiopia), found that women higher education graduates from the minority groups faced greater barriers in the labor market than women who were not higher education graduates and men in both employment and equality in salaries.

While the widest salary gaps were found among Arab women with academic degrees, the index found "a prominent pattern of ethnic separation" in employment of Jewish immigrants from Ethiopia. On the one hand, Ethiopian immigrants are not employed at all in certain sectors, while their proportion in sectors paid very low salaries is five times their proportion in the population. Even in those sectors, they are paid 25% less than people in the same sector who do not belong to minority groups.

One of the most important and disturbing findings from the index is that academic education widens gaps between population groups. The state of employment and equality of salary among haredi and Arab women without academic degrees is better than the state of employment among haredi and Arab women with academic degrees in all 20 of the sectors examined. Arab women with academic degrees have the lowest employment rates of any minority group.

The study found that Jewish women immigrants from Ethiopia and Arab women earned less than 50% of the average wage in the 20 sectors examined. A haredi woman with an academic degree earns 55% of the average wage in these sectors, while a haredi woman without an academic degree earns 69% of the average wage in the reference sectors.

Haredi men had the most equality in salaries of men from any minority group, while Jewish men immigrants from Ethiopia had the least. Both men and women immigrants from Ethiopia have the highest employment rates of any minority group, but their inequality in salary is similar to that of Arab employees in comparison with the average.

"The index findings clearly show the need for a definite policy aimed at gender diversity and equality that separately addresses the barriers facing men and women in minority groups, especially among holders of academic degrees, in entering and integration in the labor market," the study editors write. The study was headed by EEOC national commissioner Adv. Mariam Kabaha.

The Diversity Index was developed by EEOC, the Central Bureau of Statistics, and Prof. Alexandra Kalev from the department of sociology and anthropology at Tel Aviv University in order to provide a status report on inequality in workplace representation and salary among five population groups: women, Arabs, haredim, Jewish immigrants from Ethiopia, and people in the 45+ age bracket in 20 important economic sectors containing one million workers, which account for one half of the private labor market in Israel. The index, launched in 2016, is being published for the third time.

This year, for the first time, the index includes gender separation within the minority groups examined. Among other things, this enabled the researchers to detect that haredi women had greater salary equality, while Arab women had less.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on February 18, 2019

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2019

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Arab women Photo: Shutterstock
Arab women Photo: Shutterstock
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