In March 2022, the Israeli Innovation Authority and the #WomenInHighTech association published bleak data stating that "The proportion of women employed in high-tech is almost unchanged and has remained stable at about a third of high-tech employees for at least three decades."

According to the report, the proportion of women in high-tech in 2021 was 33.4%, including core technical positions and other positions such as marketing, sales, and HR. The report found that the ratio of women in senior management positions in high-tech is even lower, reaching 22% in 2021. Only 6.2% of women are CEOs or presidents of companies, and the percentage of women filling technology positions amounted to 28%. The report found that about a quarter of technology companies (23%) have only one woman in a managerial position, and 79% of companies have a maximum of three women in management positions.

The following women broke the glass ceiling and founded/managed companies or became executives in tech roles. These women also preach to the industry to enable other women to work in high-tech. Their stories can inspire other women but expose the challenges women find in the tech industry.

We Only Need to Dare and Step Up

Hila Mazinter–VP R&D, JFrog

JFrog developed the world's first universal artifact management platform, ushering in a new era in DevOps – Continuous Updates

“Research shows that women can do just as well or even better than their male counterparts by simply being great listeners, mentors, problem solvers, and multitaskers. Although these skills are critical in growing tech companies, they are often missing. Therefore, women can have a more significant impact if more of them join us and commit to staying in the workforce. To see more women in senior positions, it is required to encourage equal opportunities in education and employment to enhance women's self-esteem. The most prominent challenge women in tech face is controlling their work/life balance. Unfortunately, it is still too often that women are expected to be more available for the family's needs.”

Overcome Built-in Bias

Ayelet Kutner– Chief Technology Officer & GM Israel, At-Bay

At-bay provides innovative insurance products and active risk monitoring services for companies of every size and in every industry

“I believe we always need to hire the right person to do the job. This person might be a woman or might be a man. The key to getting to the right person is to make sure none of the filters on the way have a built-in bias against one of the groups. I think women go to study STEM more and more. However, it gets harder to balance a career with the desire to excel in motherhood in later stages of life. I believe the key is a supportive spouse and strong will. Personally, it was evident that I would not be a good mother when I could not do what I loved doing. I love my two daughters, but I also love my work.”

Regulation, Education, and Goodwill

Noa Ohana-Franko–Innovation Group Manager, Seagate's Innovation Center, Israel

Seagate Technology Holdings is a world leader in mass-data storage infrastructure solutions

“Nobody introduced me to the high-tech industry. I believe that as women, we need to open the door by ourselves. I also believe people should be given equal opportunities. As I actively recruit for the group, I make sure not to recruit people just because of their connections. Our group is diverse, and we never assess anyone by their gender, geographic origin, ethnicity, religious preference, or anything else. Women tend not to choose a tech career mainly because of prejudices about the predominantly male profession, and this perception must change. Accelerated efforts of the education sector will bring the desired change.”

Executive Women in Tech Should Drive Young Women into Senior Positions

Liron Barak–CEO and Co-Founder, BitDam, Datto's Head of Cybersecurity Innovation Center, Tel Aviv (Datto acquired BitDam in 2021)

Credit: Datto

“I am not a great believer in affirmative action for women, mainly because I believe that we are equally good. The fact that I am a woman should not get in my way unless we thought that it could. Today, a third of our R&D team are women, and the head of R&D is a woman. I believe that executive women in the industry have a role in driving young women into senior positions. The bias starts at very young ages when young girls don't see as many women as men in tech positions. We should focus our efforts on this matter in our children and their education, exposing them to technology and showing all the opportunities available to young children. It's all about education.”

We See More and More Women in Tech

Yael Adam –Co-Founder and COP, Laguna Health

Laguna Health's platform helps people recovering at home after hospitalization to reduce the likelihood of readmission and shorten recovery times

Credit: Guy Gilad

"I was one of two women in my sixty-student class at the University of Wisconsin when I studied for my BS in computer science and math. There were not enough women around me, not to mention women in leadership positions. For women who choose to raise children, if someone must stay home with the kids, it is more likely to be you than your male spouse, who earns 20%-30% more money than you. If the careers of women are less valued by the market than those of their male counterparts, it will only make sense for households to continue to undervalue them as well. I can say we are seeing more and more women in tech, and I am amazed at the incredible female talent we have in Israel. Keeping companies accountable for their recruitment practices and diversity and inclusion programs can go a long way to ensure we all do better.”

Women Must Keep Fighting Hard

Carine Belle Feder –CTO and co-founder, Antidote

Antidote Health leverages the power of AI and machine learning to dramatically reduce the cost of healthcare

Credit: Antidote

“There is nothing that can prepare you for setting up a startup. I was lucky to have a role model, Daphne Rosenblum, the founder, and director of BAOT, the largest community in Israel of professional women with experience in software research and development. At Antidote, we actively address the women we would like to hire, and we are not waiting for them to come to us. We are looking very hard so that at least at the client level we will reach an equal number of men and women. We also try very hard to recruit quality managers so that women, who are not in a managerial position, will also want to work here under a manager who can understand them. This practice should be implemented across all industries. Companies need to set that as a goal and pay prices to express that. On the other hand, women must keep fighting hard until we see results.”

Focus on the Young Population

Shelly Yehezkely –VP AI, provides AI-powered competent care coordination to increase access to life-saving treatments

Credit: Orelle Cohen

“The labour market is boiling, and recruiting is a challenging task. Viz decided that the number of women working in the company would be equal. This is how it is today and continues to be. New women coming to job interviews see the other women in the company, which encourages them to want to work in such an environment. I see it in the number of women choosing to pursue science or technology in higher education and careers. To achieve gender equality, we should focus on the young population and make girls feel more comfortable in those domains.”