All-Male Panels Should Become Extinct in Israel

Hana RadoIsraeli ad agency McCann Tel Aviv is known for its top-notch advertising work, but now it can add “brilliant women’s advocacy” to its list of company specialties. The agency recently rolled out a website, Persona, that lists nearly 700 Israeli women qualified to speak on panels on a wide variety of professional topics.The agency’s COO, Hana Rado, got the idea for the site after attending a conference earlier this year where only 10 percent of the 220 speakers on the agenda were women. When Rado was told over and over again that conference organizers across industries “couldn’t find any” women to speak, she thought, Oh really? Let me help you with that, and Persona was born.In addition to launching Persona, Rado has spearheaded a large-scale effort to raise awareness about the lack of women’s representation in speaker lineups, and she isn’t afraid to make it bold and sassy. Her group has actively campaigned against conferences without enough women on panels, and they’ve flown banner ads that say things like, “She has all the qualities to be a speaker except one thing—she’s not man enough.” (Oh, the delightful things that happen when an advertising whiz tackles gender inequality!)Stateside, investor and philanthropist Sarah Kunst has assembled a list of female investors qualified to speak on panels, but no one in the U.S. has attempted to build a database on the same level as Persona in terms of scale and breadth of sectors included…yet. The door’s open for an American woman to take the lead on this one (pun intended)—is it going to be you?