100 Percent Schmucks: All-Male Panels in 2015
Earlier this week, we received an invitation to an event being run by The Jewish Week. Titled “Is God a Threat to Religion?” it features three male speakers: Dr Micah Goodman, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, and Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove. It’s hardly the first all-male panel to be run by a Jewish organization, and we’re certain that it won’t be the last, but it reminded us that professionals occupying significant roles in the Jewish community have yet to commit in the simplest of ways to making gender equality a reality.
According to Advancing Women Professionals and the Jewish Community, “men occupy 90% of CEO positions at major national institutions and federations. Executive search processes suffer from gender bias, and there is still a significant pay gap between male and female professionals.” All-male panels, boards, and executive staffs are all symptoms of the same underlying problem: gender bias exists in a real way in the Jewish community. None of this is news.
Inspired by the brilliant 100percentmen.tumblr.com, which recently celebrated its second birthday, we created a tumblr of our own to document the all-male spaces, boards, leadership teams, and programs of the Jewish community.This is not about tokenism. It is not about asking organizations to add one woman to their board or panel or portfolio of speakers, as though the presence of a uterus will dramatically impact the tenor of the conversation. It is about taking women’s representation in the Jewish community seriously, and it is about documenting, consistently and publicly, the spaces where women remain uninvited and excluded, whether intentionally or unintentionally.