Educating Druze Women: Enhancing Prosperity and Participation in the Professional Job Market
Ono Academic College joined forces with Former Member of Knesset Majalli Wahbee, Chairman of the Druze “Beyahad” Organization, to launch a specialized academic degree program in Business Administration that accommodates the unique living conditions of young Druze women. A crucial element of the program is the provision of transportation from 16 Druze villages in Northern Israel to the college campus.
Additionally, Ono Academic College and Beyahad established a new Empowerment Center in the heart of the Druze communities, where students can study for their courses and meet with local employers to discuss employment opportunities.
A LIVING WAGE, A NEW LEASE ON LIFE
Current statistics show that there are approximately 140,000 Druze citizens of Israel. While Druze men have succeeded in entering the workforce, Druze women are severely underrepresented. To close the gap, Ono Academic College created a special educational track that allows Druze women to acquire a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration coupled with a certificate in Information Systems Analysis, providing them with a wide range of exciting employment opportunities in the fields of analysis and management of information technology, including managerial positions in high-tech companies and the defense industry.
Modeled after Ono’s ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) campus, the program – the first of its kind in Israel – incorporates the same outlook of respect for religious needs, providing young Druze women with the conditions required to advance professional careers, while maintaining their unique way of life.
HIGH LEVEL EMPLOYMENT SUCCESS
- Israel Electric Company (IEC) – Ten graduates of the program are training in a department of about 900 Israeli employees in the company’s Information Systems Division.
- Elbit Systems – The company worked with Ono and Beyahad to establish a high-tech programming center in Carmiel. Thus far, 32 students have been accepted for employment. The center is expected to employ 60 Ono graduates within the next year, and reach 400 within five years. These are the first Druze employees in one of Israel’s largest defense companies.
- GME Programming – Major-General Gadi Shamni established a number of software programming houses in Druze communities in northern Israel. In the first stage, GME intends to recruit 20 Ono graduates, and reach 500 within the next five years.
- Tzav Technologies – The company, which focuses on advanced tank ventilation and other systems for the defense industry, plans to employ 15 graduates within the next year, and reach 50 within two years.
SCHOLARSHIPS AND TRANSPORTATION ASSISTANCE
Because substantial academic scholarships and reliable transportation are crucial to the success of this program, Ono Academic College and Beyahad seek partners who can offer support to help remove all barriers to higher education for Druze women.