Amira Dotan served in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) from 1965 to 1988, ending her career as the Head of the Women’s Corps, with the rank of Brigadier General. Attaining it in 1986, she became the first woman in the history of the IDF to hold this rank.
Upon completing her military service, she served as Vice President of Ben-Gurion University, as well as on the Board of Directors of Israel Military Industries and at the Jewish Agency.
For the 2006 elections in Israel, Dotan joined the Kadima party in the 28th position on their list of potential Knesset members. The list eventually gained 29 seats, ensuring Dotan’s election.
What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?
I had the privilege to serve in the Israeli society throughout my professional life – being the first IDF’s female general (given to me due to the major change of female soldiers ‘vocations) I led the way for others.
As a MK, I was able to find solutions for the families who were evacuated from Gaza Strip and by initiating and changing the National Security Council.
Who inspired or inspires you and why?
Stories about women mostly Palmach and Hagana, whose courage and abilities gave them standing among those whom we should thank for having independent Israel.
What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?
We, women are the ones who stop ourselves. May it be because we are bothered with “what people will think about me”, the price we pay for fulfilling ourselves as human being besides being female.
Did/Do you experience resistance when you are leading or working with men? If yes, how do you address it?
No. On the contrary.
What’s one key leadership lesson you’ve learned along the way?
Know who u are. Be what u are. There will be ups and downs but it will be – your way.