Where are all the women lead­ers?

The Jewish Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - BY ROSA DO­HERTY

WOMEN MUST work with com­mu­nal or­gan­i­sa­tions to se­cure bet­ter rep­re­sen­ta­tion, a lead­ing group has ar­gued fol­low­ing the in­clu­sion of only one woman in the Jewish Lead­er­ship Coun­cil’s del­e­ga­tion to Down­ing Street last week.

The Women in Jewish Lead­er­ship group (WJL), which was orig­i­nally set up by the JLC and is now sup­ported by the Board of Deputies, said it was “once again very dis­ap­pointed by the poor rep­re­sen­ta­tion of women” at the meet­ing.

Union of Jewish Stu­dents pres­i­dent Han­nah Brady was part of an oth­er­wise all-male team of 12 lead­ers who held talks with David Cameron.

“It is an­other il­lus­tra­tion of the en­demic is­sue of our com­mu­nity’s lack of women in lead­er­ship roles,” a WJL state­ment said.

Ac­cord­ing to the Board, WJL is“al­most to­tally funded” by the Board, which sup­ports its “cen­tral staff costs, and of­fice space”. The Board had asked the JLC to equally share fund­ing for the pro­jected £25,000 bud­get last year, but it is un­der­stood the JLC re­jected the re­quest.

WJL pro­ject man­ager Leah War­ren said the JLC had helped run the En­vi­sion pro­gramme for women lead­ers through its Lead ini­tia­tive last year. But she added: “There are no fu­ture plans to work with Lead in 2016.”

WJL co-chair Laura Marks called the meet­ing “the tip of the ice­berg”.

Dis­quiet about the lack of women in the del­e­ga­tion had al­ready been voiced by se­nior male fig­ures at the meet­ing.

Writ­ing on Face­book af­ter the in­ci­dent, Ms Brady thanked the JLC for in­clud­ing her but said the episode high­lighted that “there is a prob­lem”. She listed at least 10 prom­i­nent women in the com­mu­nity who she said could have at­tended the meet­ing.

The JLC said mem­bers of the del­e­ga­tion to meet Mr Cameron had been cho­sen as the most rel­e­vant peo­ple to dis­cuss the is­sues on the agenda.

How­ever, a spokesman said: “Women are still un­der rep­re­sented within Jewish com­mu­nal lead­er­ship.

“The JLC in­tends to con­tinue its sup­port to en­sure women are prop­erly and ap­pro­pri­ately rep­re­sented at lead­er­ship level. We hope that this work will re­sult in the gen­der gap clos­ing within the Jewish com­mu­nity in the near fu­ture.”

In a let­ter to the JC, Deb­bie Fox and Ruth Green, two of the JLC’s trustees, wrote: “We were im­mensely proud of Han­nah Brady’s con­tri­bu­tion to the meet­ing… she was no­body’s to­ken.”

The Board of Deputies said it would raise gen­der im­bal­ance on com­mu­nal pan­els dur­ing its con­sti­tu­tional re­view.

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