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Closing The Gender Gap

Closing The Gender Gap

Naomi Levine’s letter (“Gender Gap,” Dec. 31) asserts, “I have found that in the academic world — as in corporate America — women are far more represented in top positions than in the Jewish community. Among the seven vice presidents at NYU, three, including myself, are women.”

While I admire Levine’s quarter-century of service to NYU and the progress she reports, she misrepresents the state of affairs in the Jewish community — at least insofar as AJC, which she mentions by name, is concerned.

She criticizes us and other groups for failing to “appoint a woman to a top professional position.”

Well, it’s true that AJC has yet to appoint its first female CEO. That day is not far off, I hope. But then again, NYU, 75 years older, has not yet had a female president among its 15 leaders.

The standard she cites is vice presidents at the university, proudly noting that 40 percent are women. The AJC equivalent is our senior management team. Of the nine top staff members, five are women, or 55 percent.

Moreover, in another indication of change, four of the nine are under the age of 45. How many universities can make the same claim?

And finally, years ago AJC introduced flex time to allow professionals with small children the chance, if feasible, to accommodate a desire to work and be present as parents. Of our nine-person senior management team, two are currently taking advantage of this initiative.

In other words, some Jewish groups have come a long way since Levine was employed in the Jewish community in the 1970s.


Executive Director,

American Jewish Committee




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