A report that examined 70 Venture Capital funds and 424 private and VC-backed startups that are active in Israel revealed that the average percentage of women represented in companies is 33%. Though there is a more substantial presence of women in large companies (36%) than in smaller companies (30.8%), the representation of women in tech jobs is a mere 27%. When it comes to management roles, being a C-level executive, VP, or director, only 23.4% of these positions are filled by women. That is to say, less than a quarter of the decision-makers in the ecosystem are women. When looking at VCs, only 14.8% of the partners are women and only 9% are investing partners. This piece of data correlates with the percentage of companies that are founded by women in the tech industry which is 12%. These statistics reflect not only the Israeli tech ecosystem but also the global one, as the universal technology industry has only 31% overall female representation.

In order for the startup nation to continue to thrive, there needs to be more diversity within tech. Overall, higher gender inclusivity in the tech industry can lead to better outcomes, with more efficient decision-making, bolstered innovation, and enhanced business and economic yields. And so, there is no reason why the human makeup of the ecosystem should not represent the number of women in the general population and the number of qualified women for these roles. Though there has been a significant increase in the number of women that are represented in the tech ecosystem in Israel, it is far from being enough. This series will focus on those women who have made it in tech and tell the stories of their journeys within the tech ecosystem– where they are now, and how they got there. We hope that this series will inspire other women to go after their tech-driven goals and not let gender biases, prejudices, and stereotypes get in their way; we hope to motivate companies to allocate considerable resources to the implementation of diversity programs and focus on expanding the pool of candidates that are underrepresented in the workforce; we hope to encourage government and educational institutions to take measures in providing the tools, support, and means necessary to enable a more diversified tech workforce.

In the ever-changing world of computing, Incredibuild offers a unique solution for increasing the productivity of development teams. The company’s technology turns programmers' machines into “supercomputers” by paralleling workloads, utilizing all the computing power available on a given network, both locally and on the cloud. We interviewed the CEO of Incredibuild, Tami Mazel Shachar, a 52-year-old mother of three, to learn more about her company and her professional and personal life. As she explained, “Incredibuild offers organizations radically accelerated development cycles and a much higher iteration rate – improving product quality, shortening time to market, and increasing customer satisfaction, as well as significantly reducing costs both on-premise and in the cloud.” Incredibuild has long been operating with a hybrid working model, even before Covid-19 changed the world. “We already had Tuesdays at home, so when Covid came along, we had the infrastructure in place for working remotely,” said Tami. “Since then, we have shifted our model to two days at home and three in the office. Incredibuild has always valued flexibility, something that has only been amplified since the onset of the pandemic.”

As she tells it, the story of Mazel Shachar’s company and career path is illuminating. Incredibuild was created by two developers who, frustrated by long compile times during software development, came up with a technology that quickly became the acceleration tool of choice for many companies and industries. Tami also told us about her daily motivation, her work-life priorities, and her professional and personal ethos. “I believe in ‘work hard, play hard,’” she said. “I get up early every morning, exercise and then enter work mode. But when I am at home, I try to focus on what is happening at home. My mind is often in two places at once, but I work very hard to be present both in the office and at home.” What inspires her day-to-day is seeing Incredibuild fulfill its potential by driving success for its employees, customers, and shareholders. “My work is a top priority in my life, as is quality leisure/vacation time and time with my family.”

When asked about her experience as a woman in the technology sector as well as her fears and concerns, Tami conceded, “Unfortunately, female CEOs are still rare. I find myself a minority among men in almost every forum. I hope that my role and the high percentage of women in management positions at Incredibuild can help shape a more diverse group of CEOs for the future.” Tami also stressed the importance of supporting women in the industry and promoting diversity within companies. “I have the same concerns for women in tech that I have for women in any industry. High visibility female leadership can go a very long way towards reducing these kinds of concerns. We must double down on our support for each other and exhibit an approachability that allows our employees to be open with their needs. Additionally, I think company-wide educational programming and policies on such subjects are vital. Women mustn't be the only ones advocating for women. I have never let gender-based remarks affect my focus but I also learned to speak up very early on,” she added.

Education in the workforce isn’t the only tool to be used; Tami believes “Education is key to empowering more women in the tech industry. By exposing girls to technology and business-related skills as early as middle school, we can increase the number of women in these roles.” Tami recently wrote a children’s book geared toward young women with an interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). “Young women need to see technology not just as a viable path, but as an attractive one.” Generally, in the last few years, there have been a growing number of initiatives encouraging women and girls to get into tech and break down the stigma. “I am proud to volunteer with such organizations and am looking forward to seeing a new generation of women in tech continue to grow.”

When we asked Tami what advice she has for women already working in the field and looking to advance in their careers, she said: “Become an asset wherever you are. Find your voice and advocate for yourself and those around you. Rather than shy away from challenges, learn to embrace them. Every one of them is an opportunity for growth.”

Written by Alissa Abrahami, Anoushka Redding, and Michal Pacifici