Bringing women to the forefront of tech

Women have made momentous strides in the last few decades, but they are by no means done with the race. There are many realms in which gender inequality is still very apparent, and the workforce is one of them. Women are underrepresented and underpaid, but some companies are making it a part of their mission to change that. In honour of Women’s Equality Day, here are a few Israeli tech companies doing their part to mend the gap.

Optibus

Optibus is an AI, cloud-native end-to-end, cross-functional software platform for transportation planning, scheduling, rostering, and operations. Since its inception, it has been running several programs to promote gender equality. In the past two years, long before the amendment to the Israeli Equal Pay law took effect, Optibus decided to develop an internal mechanism to measure pay gaps, based on gender, position, performance and seniority. The company communicated the findings to all employees (while maintaining their privacy) and explained how they plan to fix any minor gaps that were found. Optibus continues to run frequent salary assessments to this day. In addition, the company initiated a mentoring leadership program for women, aiming to break the glass ceiling for women in management positions. As part of the program, Optibus connects its young female professionals with female executives in the industry to help them grow and develop as future managers.

Optibus Team. Credit: Optibus

Hilla Porat Goldstein, Optibus’ VP of People, said: “Optibus has always been committed to creating a diverse and equitable work environment where everyone can feel included and equal. Therefore, we decided to maintain transparency and ensure that we have equal pay for equal work, for all. Over the years, we also saw how female employees often don’t aspire to become senior managers – partly due to the lack of positive role models within the tech ecosystem. Our internal program seeks to change that, and we’re very excited to see how most of the participants were indeed promoted to managerial roles within the company”.

Optibus was founded in 2014 by Amos Haggiag (CEO) and Eitan Yanovsky (CTO). To date, they have raised a total of $260 million with a $1.3 billion valuation. The company serves transportation agencies in more than 1,000 cities worldwide; its investors include Insight Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, Pitango First & Pitango Growth, as well as strategic investors Jack Ma (Alibaba) and the Volvo Group. The company’s headquarters are in Tel Aviv, Israel, and its 330 employees are located in numerous offices in the United States, United Kingdom, Brazil, Chile, France, and Germany.

Minute Media

Minute Media is an Israeli tech content publishing platform, which publishes content written by sports fans and leading content creators from around the world. With its widespread exposure, Minute Media chooses to use its platform as a catalyst for change to promote women’s equality. The platform enjoys more than 300 million active users and more than a billion video views. As such, the company believes it is its responsibility to create a diverse and equal space in sports, as well as internally, within its own workforce. As a core value, Minute Media encourages women’s representation in sports by supporting women’s stories, and voices and fighting for equality. They do so by covering the stories of female athletes, partnering with Equal Playing Field, a London-based NGO, and hosting a panel titled “Upping the Game for Women in Sports Business”, joined by Karin Sendel, Israel’s Former Captain of the National Women’s football team, as well as other sports leaders. Well-timed with the 2022 UEFA Women’s Football, the panel challenged businesses to defy stereotypes and push boundaries on women’s participation in sports. More importantly, the company puts diversity at the heart of its business and makes great efforts toward equal representation of women in the company. Minute Media was recently accredited as one of the top companies in Israel for women’s representation, having 41% of the Israeli workforce and 51% of the broader global company being women.

Minute Media’s Women In Sports. Credit: Liat Shahar

Asaf Peled, founder and CEO of Minute Media stated: “We are committed to the promotion of values of equality – it’s a mission we have taken upon ourselves and actively pursue both internally and as a message to sports audiences globally. We hope to lead the change in both Israeli and global environments for women in sports.”

Founded in 2011 by Asaf Peled (CEO), Gili Beiman and Yuval Larom the company has raised $180 million to date and has built partnerships with giant media organizations including Daily Mail, MSN Group, and Sports Illustrated.

Synamedia

Synamedia is a global high-tech company that develops technological solutions for the video and the television industry. At Synamedia, every time a promotion, salary increase, or bonus is given, the company measures and counts how many women were involved to aim toward equality. Synamedia has increased the number of women employees in the R&D departments to over 30% in the last two years. Moreover, working groups were formed last year to address barriers women face when entering the workforce, especially in technology. The company found that hybrid work and flexible working hours, as well as the lack of necessary travel, have helped women land high-tech jobs. The company also uses gender-friendly language in job descriptions (as women and men are addressed differently in Hebrew) and avoids adjectives that tend to associate with men, to encourage more female candidates. To encourage internal promotions, the company approaches women who are a good fit, rather than waiting for them to apply, as they often don’t. Lastly, each year, Synamedia dedicates an entire floor of its offices to Carmel 6000, a Hilma program which offers young women doing their National Service the opportunity to complete a technological national service and develop apps that address social problems. Employees of Synamedia also serve as mentors.

Yael Fainaro. Credit: Sally Farag

Yael Fainaro, CEO of the Israeli R&D Center of Synamedia, and SVP of Security at the company stated: “Companies and organizations must create value for a world in which 50% of the people are women. As with other demographic groups, women contribute a way of thinking, values, perceptions, experiences, and opinions that allow companies to provide better products. In my opinion, equal opportunities and rights are the keys to women’s economic independence. To accomplish that, they should be provided with the conditions, circumstances, and flexible work environment that encourages women to move forward, in terms of achievements at work, salary, position, and an environment that actively seeks out different opinions.” Yael Fainaro is one of the very few women in Israel leading an international R&D center overseeing hundreds of employees.

Synamedia Israel is the R&D center of the U.K based global company. They are based in Jerusalem, with over 500 employees who develop core technologies for the company. Founded in November 2018, the company is based on the older NDS company (one of Israel’s first successful startups), which Cisco had bought in 2012 for $5 billion. The activity was sold to the Permira investment group in 2018, and the business was renamed Synamedia, after a flagship product of NDS.

Lili

By combining banking with accounting software and technology to optimize tax liability, Lili’s mobile banking app is designed to save time, money, and energy and empower small business owners with the tools and services they need to manage all aspects of their business. As a women-led and co-founded company, they have always been deeply invested in the success of women small business owners and strive to support them every step of the way. With Lili, women who are small business owners enjoy a one-stop shop providing all the resources they need to be successful as business owners, freelancers, and independent professionals. Lili’s services include banking, lending, accounting, and taxes. Lili offers services that are tailored to women’s needs through proactive communication, educational content, and providing resources.

Lili’s female team. Credit: Lili

Lilac Bar-David, Lili’s CEO and Co-Founder stated “We need gender equality urgently. Gender equality prevents violence against women and girls. It’s essential for economic prosperity. In societies where women and men are treated equally, there is a greater sense of safety and health. Gender equality is a human right. Gender equality benefits everyone. The impact of women goes beyond individual companies and organizations. It is proven that women’s participation in the economy has positive effects on everyone. At Lili, we created a dedicated financial tool that’s mobile, frequently updated and improved, and is always there to guide them in the right direction.

Lili was founded in 2018, by Lilac Bar David (CEO) and Liran Zelkha (CTO). Lili is headquartered in New York and serves customers in all 50 states. They are backed by Group 11, Foundation Capital, AltaIR Capital, Primary Venture Partners, Torch Capital, Target Global, and Zeev Ventures. To date, Lili has raised $80 million.

Salesforce Israel

Salesforce is a cloud-based software company and equality is a core company value. Recently the company announced its commitment to a workforce with at least 40% women and non-Binary employees by 2026. The company also offers a variety of benefits to foster equality such as maternity/paternity leave for all employees. In addition, Salesforce Israel has 7 equality groups (ERGs), led by employees who come together to promote various URMs or communities. One of the first ERGs to be established in Israel is the Salesforce Women’s Network (SWN) which advocates for gender equality at Salesforce and in their surrounding communities, supports women in every step of their journey through professional and personal development, and promotes allyship. It is the largest Equality group (globally), and its programs include content and activities like Gender Equality-focused volunteering opportunities, lectures, and workshops. To further expand the reach of their activities and localize initiatives to engage culture in Israel, Salesforce Israel developed a program called ‘Women on Stage’. The program includes a series of sessions, lectures, and workshops, as well as 1:1 mentoring with top experts in the field, that provide its women participants with the necessary skills and tools to become confident speakers at conferences.

Salesforce Women’s activity

Nili Gur, Senior Director, Marketing and Employer Branding at Salesforce Israel: “We believe that businesses can become powerful platforms for social change, and it is our responsibility to promote gender equality. Creating a culture of equality isn’t just the right thing to do– it’s also the smart thing. We strive to create a workplace that reflects the diverse communities around us and where everyone feels seen, heard, valued, and empowered to succeed.”

Salesforce Israel was established in 2011 with the acquisition of the Israeli start-up Navajo Systems and has become an important R&D hub responsible for developing leading solutions for the international company with a focus on AI-powered big-data marketing intelligence, AI analytics and voice technology, security, and field service solutions. The R&D center in Israel is managed by Efrat Rapoport and employs over 700 people in three development centers in Tel Aviv, Petah Tikva, and Nazareth.

J.P. Morgan’s Israel Technology Center

J.P. Morgan has a diverse culture of respect, equity, and inclusion — where no one is left behind. They view a diversified workforce as a competitive advantage that enables the firm to best serve its customers, clients, and communities while keeping employees top of mind. J.P. Morgan is continuously working to support women to meet challenges, accelerate their careers and thrive. From mentoring programs to volunteering, the company has many initiatives for women. The main one is the “Women on the Move” global community that organizes various activities, guest speakers, and workshops on entrepreneurship, financial health, career growth and more. One of the main ways to support the career growth of Women in Tech is through our Mentoring program, where Senior female Tech Executives lead mentoring groups.

JP Morgan Israel’s activities for women

Nir Shahaf, Head of J.P Morgan’s Israel Technology Center: “Diversity of thought is essential to the future of tech and J.P. Morgan’s Israel Technology Center is dedicated to promoting women in tech by giving them tools and opportunities to grow and supporting them throughout all stages of their career by providing an inclusive culture, coaching, and leadership training.”

JPMorgan’s Israel Technology Center was established in 2013 and employs over 120 people. The center develops some of the key components of the bank’s core systems, in a variety of areas focused on technology and innovation for its business, including the development of trading systems, blockchain and cyber, as well as an innovation group that drives solutions for all the bank’s departments.

iAngels

iAngels is a women-led venture capital fund and investment platform. When it was founded in 2014, it was rare to find women in investing and venture capital at any level, let alone management teams and general partners. Today, women have made remarkable achievements to close the gender gap in venture capital and tech. Each year, iAngels adds new, women-founded companies to their portfolio and it is important to them to hire women in managerial positions. Moreover, most of the fund itself is women and is very diverse. The iAngels founders also participate in mentoring panels and conferences for women in tech.

iAngels team

As the founders of iAngels, Shelly Hod Moyal and Mor Assia, stated, “While strides have certainly been made over the past decade, there is plenty of progress still to be made. At iAngels, we make it a priority to promote female entrepreneurship by investing in women-founded and women-led companies. In addition, we focus internally within our firm on female career development, where our management team is all women.”

iAngels was founded in 2014 by Shelly Hod Moyal and Mor Assia. iAngels offers investors worldwide exclusive access to tech startups and scaleup investment opportunities originated in Israel and curated through a streamlined due diligence process allowing investors to create a personalized VC portfolio led by some of the highest calibre entrepreneurs in the nation.

Kaltura

Kaltura’s product, a Video Experience Cloud, offers live, real-time, and on-demand video products for enterprises of all industries, as well as specialized industry solutions, currently for educational institutions and for media and telecom companies. While its mission is to power any video experience, its core values are openness, flexibility, and collaboration. With the mission and values in mind, they believe in inclusion and strive to ensure diversity and equality across the company’s employees – regardless of race, gender, or nationality. Gender inequality in the tech industry is challenging, but in 2020, Kaltura decided to act and drive change by setting out a five-year goal plan. The plan looks to increase the number of female employees in the company across all levels of the organization from 32% to 50% and to increase the number of women in leadership positions from 24% to 50%. They will have at least one female candidate for serious consideration for each new position and have bi-yearly check-ins to ensure they are on track to meeting these goals while for gender equality both in representation as well as compensation. Lastly, the company takes part in events, speaking opportunities and campaigns to drive equality, specifically gender equality.

Kaltura equality event

As Sigal Srur, CHRO of Kaltura stated, “Our internal motto when it comes to this topic is that there is quality in equality. We have seen that teams with a high percentage of women reach more collaborative work, innovative thinking, and a high level of problem-solving techniques. It is also clear to us that an organizational culture that values equality helps ensure an overall effective work environment and working relationships within and between teams.”

Kaltura was founded in 2006b by Michal Tsur, Shay David, and Ron Yekutiel. In 2021, they went public on NASDAQ with a valuation of $1.3 billion. They have offices in Brazil, London, New York, Singapore, and Israel.

CyberArk

CyberArk is an information security company offering identity management. As a company, they are committed to ensuring equal pay. During talent acquisition, as well as annual merit salary review processes, they closely monitor compensation packages to ensure no gender pay gaps between female and male employees performing at the same level in the same roles. They also believe that providing professional development, coaching, mentorship, and network-building opportunities are key to elevating women within. One example of how they support this is through an ERG (employee resource group), dubbed CYBRWomen, which is designed by women, for women, whose mission is to recognize and empower women within the company; they want to promote female-driven ideas and innovation and help women achieve their professional goals. Moreover, the company offers a training program for junior R&D software developers, where 50% of the selected trainees are women.

Diversity and Inclusion event

Ruth Shaked, Chief Human Resources Officer at CyberArk stated, “A diverse, inclusive work environment is proven to foster innovation, inspire people, deepen engagement and ultimately, improve retention. One clear way to foster workplace diversity is by attracting more women to cybersecurity — a field in which women have long been underrepresented. This is a topic particularly near and dear to me and the entire leadership team at CyberArk. We need to bring more women’s voices and perspectives to the table — representative of our customers, our communities, and the entire ecosystem — especially in cybersecurity leadership positions. The first step towards equality is to eliminate gender pay gaps.

CyberArk was founded in 1999 by Udi Mokady (Chairman & CEO) and Alon Cohen and is a publicly traded company on the Nasdaq. They employ over 2500 people in their offices in Petach Tikva and Beer Sheva, Israel, as well as globally in 15 offices in Europe, Asia Pacific and Japan, Canada, the U.S., and Latin America.

Riskified

Riskified provides software as a service fraud and chargeback prevention technology. They play an active role in promoting female representation within the Tech industry, both internally and externally. Internally, Riskified’s Women in Tech program aims to attract and drive more women to tech roles, and develop, promote, and retain them. This program is led by women from their tech departments and consists of different work streams that plan and execute various enrichment activities that women in tech roles care about and need. They also make sure that women in tech roles have speaking opportunities by sponsoring podcasts, tech conferences, and other events to showcase them. Externally, Riskified collaborates with NGOs like QueenB and SheCodes, which aim to increase the number of women in tech positions, while also hosting events with local tech communities, like Data Queens, Women in Clouds, and more.

The Belong Hackathon

“Riskified is dedicated to fostering a diverse, inclusive, and equitable organization where our employees’ intersecting identities, including gender, are supported and their strengths celebrated.” Dana Teplitsky, SVP of Global HR at Riskified. “From the very start, women have been an integral part of Riskified’s success story and leadership, today making up 50% of Riskified’s global executive team. As we invest time and resources into hiring and professional development of women, almost half (47%) of the team based in Israel are women.”

Riskified was founded by Eido Gal and Assaf Feldman in 2013, and the company went public on the Nasdaq on July 29th, 2021. The company’s main two offices are in Tel Aviv and New York, with additional offices across the UK, Germany, China, Japan, and Singapore. Australia and South America. They employ over 800 people across those regions.

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