Gender and the Federation Executive Search Process

Publication Date: January 2007


Author(s): Jessica Bell

Research Area: Human rights; Social conditions

Keywords: Jewish Organizations; Leadership; Diversity; Discrimination

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


The author discusses the results of a qualitative study intended to ascertain the reasons for the large gender gap in Jewish Federation executive positions, by examining federation executive search processes. Among the reasons for this gap, the author asserts, are: that women are not "groomed" for top positions in the field; that fewer women than men have had high-profile opportunities to demonstrate competencies sought by search committees; that work-life balance sacrifices do not appeal to many suitable female candidates; that potential female candidates and/or their husbands may not be open to relocation; and that search committee members may have a low comfort level / unfamiliarity with women and non-traditional candidates in the top-level position.