Menu JTA Search

Report Shows Employment Increase of Jews at Executive Levels in Finance, Industry

An increase in employment of Jews at the executive levels in industry and finance in the Philadelphia area has come about as a result of a 10-year program aimed at Executive Suite discrimination by the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Jewish Committee and the Jewish Employment and Vocational Service. This has been disclosed in a survey report marking the 10th anniversary of the program. The report, issued today by Michael Steinig, chairman of the Executive Advisory Program of the two agencies, indicates that major increases in the employment of Jews, have taken place in banking, industrial corporations, and insurance in the Philadelphia vicinity. In banking, the survey shows, the percentage of Jews in Philadelphia’s seven major banks was one-half of one percent in 1960. In 1970 this had risen to three and one-half percent. “More substantial gains were recorded among 14 major industrial corporations in the Philadelphia area,” the report continues. “In 1970, the number of Jewish officers in these companies increased to 53, or seven percent, out of a total of 749 officers. A survey conducted in the 1966-67 period turned up that only one-half of one percent of these officers were Jewish.” In the insurance industry, some gains were registered in the Philadelphia area, though to a lesser extent. In 1970, the survey shows, there were nine Jewish officers in six Philadelphia area insurance firms out of a total of 339. In 1965, only one man of 187 officers in the firms was Jewish.

The report indicates that lowering of barriers to employment of Jews in corporate management can be broadened to reduce barriers to the employment of Blacks, Puerto Ricans, Catholics and members of other minorities. It reports that less than one percent of all the officers in seven major banks in Philadelphia in 1969 were black. “The AJC-JEVS Executive Suite program the Jews as a model for programming on the part of other minorities,” Steinig said. In addition to the increase in the number of Jews now holding high posts in these fields, the report indicates that “many more Jews (will be) reaching the officer levels of these companies in the next five to ten years. This optimism is based on the progress made on the so-called ‘pipeline jobs’ that often lead to college trainee and middle management positions by concerns in all three industries.” One of the problems, the AJC-JEVS reports, is that there is insufficient knowledge in the Jewish community of the greater opportunities that are now available. The two agencies have directed a portion of their efforts in recent years in communicating this information as widely as possible. The Executive Suite program of the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Jewish Committee and the Jewish Employment and Vocational Service is part of a nationwide effort to break down barriers to employment of Jews in industry and to eradicate social discrimination.