Lt. General (Ret.) Orit Adato

By AIFL - Mar 11, 2019

Name: Orit Adato

Profession: Owner & Managing Director of Adato Consulting Ltd.

Owner & Managing Director of Adato Consulting Ltd. Company specialized in Correctional Systems, leadership and strategic planning and training, managing terror inmates, security, correctional system’s intelligence and cooperation with other Security and Law Enforcement Agencies. 25 years of service in the IDF, up to a General rank, mostly in training & command positions 17 years of correctional experience, including: 4 as the Commissioner of the IPS – Israeli Prison Service – Lt. General, 9 years as Vice President of ICPA – International Correction & Prison Association, and 13 years as a consultant in these areas in various countries and international organizations.

Former board member of the Council for Peace & Security, President of IWF – International Women Forum Israel. Research colleague and lecturer in the ICT (International Institute for Counter Terrorism at the IDC – Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya) for the last 13 years, since retirement. Board member and Chairperson of “Gesher Leadership Institute”, since 2012. Founder and board member of Devora Forum – Women in Security & Foreign Affairs.

Words You Live By: Be positive towards life challenges, and do your best to design it that way and achieve.

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?

Formally – achieving 3 stars General rank as the first woman to become Commissioner of the Israeli Prison Service. Informally – Becoming a role model for women to understand and believe in their abilities to accomplish, (while still having and raising a family).

Who inspired or inspires you and why?

First of all – my mother whom has been a “fighter” in our young Israeli conservative society, as a woman – teacher/educator, as well as “the ears” and adviser for my siblings and my friends all along the way, inspiring me to achieve highest challenges.

What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?

In Israel we have a military environmental society, according to our security needs, therefore women usually do not belong to the “Old boys security network”, what act as a barrier in the political life, and even in the private sector, especially in security related industries. But, this barrier is less relevant in the municipal political arena, as well as in the finance and law areas. In these areas women are leading smoothly.

Did/Do you experience resistance when you are leading or working with men? If yes, how do you address it?

As the Commissioner of Prisons (IPS) I had the most challenging experience of leading a male oriented hard organization. I came from the military, an outsider and a woman! They were very upset with me being their commander. I showed them that I do trust them and their professionalism, even though they don’t trust me, I lead them in a different way of leadership from what they knew before, using combination of all leadership sources.

What’s one key leadership lesson you’ve learned along the way?

Be a “Soul Player” – love what you do and “inflame” your people with your brightness in your eyes and love in your heart. As a woman leader – Remember how challenging it has been for you to reach your leadership position, identify the talented women (there are!) in your organization and make their journey a bit easier that it has been for you.