Women working in high-tech companies posed around a cardboard cutout of German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday to protest against a meeting she held with an all-male group of entrepreneurs in Israel last week.
Merkel noted at that session that Israel’s start-up industry appeared to be “very male-dominated”, adding: “It would be better if next time, there was a woman among all those hopeful pioneers of the future”.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry subsequently apologized for the all-male attendance at the meeting, where Merkel was the only woman in a group photograph, and said Israel has many female high-tech entrepreneurs.
That was also the message the protesters said they wanted to get across at Rabin Square, where more than 50 women posed for photographers and TV cameras with a few placards, one of which read: “Tel Aviv is with Merkel”.
“It’s not the first time that it’s happening: you can see summits, events, meetings only with men around the table,” said Merav Oren, one of the protesters and the founder of WMN, a co-working space for women entrepreneurs in Tel Aviv.
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“If we don’t raise the awareness like we are doing now it can happen again because, you know, the men were sitting there, nobody noticed there is not a woman around them, there is no diversity in the room.”