How Can We Promote Working Haredi Women in Bnei-Brak?

Employment is one of the most important issues for the future of Haredi society, and in particular the employment of women, who are the main breadwinners in the Haredi household.
Haredi women have to overcome special challenges, beyond the challenges every working woman encounters.
What are the special challenges and difficulties facing the working Haredi woman and what tools can be given to her to overcome them?

The study looked into the characteristics of female employment in Bnei-Brak. In contrast to the usual patterns of studies in this field, it was decided to examine only the female Haredi workers of one city, instead of the whole nation, in order to receive a more concrete and exact picture.

The study included thorough interviews with employers and employees from the city and the surrounding area, and a survey with circa 800 female residents of Bnei-Brak.

Below are the main conclusions that were drawn from the study:

Commuting is a main factor in choosing a workplace.

Female Haredi employees are usually mothers to young children, a fact which causes them to cut their working hours significantly. The time they are willing to spend on commuting is especially limited, because it does not immediately pay off, and it takes away precious time that is needed in order to run the household. The study found that although there is a great deal of employment opportunities in the area around Bnei-Brak, the women gave up rewarding jobs with stronger opportunities for promotion because of small gaps in the required commuting time.  For them those gaps were significant enough to decline jobs outside Bnei-Brak, and chose to work within the city.

The first year of employment is the most crucial.

The study revealed that the first year of work after the end of professional training at the seminary has a decisive effect on the continued employment path of the ultra-Orthodox female worker. If an employee fails to find a job in her professional field in the first year, then her chances of working in the same field of training decrease significantly. Due to various constraints, her employment path is often diverted to jobs that are more available but less financially and professionally rewarding, and her chances of quitting to work paying jobs altogether are doubled.

 

The study found possible solutions to these two decisive factors, along with several unique characteristics of Bnei-Brak female residents. Accordingly, a set of tools for intervention and assistance was created and adapted to the nature of the employed population in the city, the required employment conditions, means of transportation and municipal support in the city of Bnei-Brak.

 

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Researchers
Yehudit Miletzky
Senior Researcher - Employment
Dov Goldberg
Researcher

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