Israel's tech women to rally after Merkel rebuke

Merkel, Netanyahu  flanked by innovation executives Photo: GPO

German Chancellor Angela Merkel embarrassed Israeli government figures after comments at a men-only innovation photo-shoot.

Israeli women working in high-tech will demonstrate in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square at 6pm on Wednesday after comments last week by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, during a salute to Israel-German innovation at the Israel Museum.

Following a photo in which Merkel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were flanked by several dozen men, the German Chancellor said, "I'm happy about this discussion and I'm happy about this joint meeting and if there will also be a woman here next time that would be nice. This is probably a field controlled by men but of course I'm happy you're all here, this is not a criticism."

The event was organized by the Prime Minister's Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Israel Innovation Authority and Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute as well as German government and trade organizations. Many of the representatives at the meeting were German and Israel had no say in the selection there, but there was embarrassment that some of the many leading women in Israeli high-tech had not been invited.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon said, "The companies invited, which are leading companies in Israeli and German innovation conducting business operations in Israel and Germany, chose and sent their own representatives. During preparations for the event the flaw of the absence of women was not identified."

At the Tel Aviv rally on Wednesday evening a photograph of the women will be taken, together with a cardboard cut-out of Merkel in their midst, and sent to her office in Berlin. Another group of high-tech executives has already gathered for a picture and sent it to Berlin.

Women Entrepreneurs Act (WeAct) founder Darya Henig Shaked said, "Many Israeli women lead innovation and all of us, both women and men, work to promote an equal presence in it and the solutions it offers everybody."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on October 7, 2018

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2018

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Merkel, Netanyahu  flanked by innovation executives Photo: GPO
Merkel, Netanyahu flanked by innovation executives Photo: GPO
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