What Can Be Done to Improve Gender Equality in Israeli High-Tech?
In this report, we have presented an up-to-date situation report describing the representation of women at different stages pertaining to their employment in the Israeli innovation ecosystem. A wide range of reasons leads to a low number of women in hightech, from social paving young women not to choose these subjects in academic studies, the difficulty of women high-tech professions to build a career alongside a family, and a lack of role models.1 In the field of entrepreneurship, where we saw that less than 10% of startups’ CEOs are women, the problems only intensify. Women report disparities related to the male work environment and bias of male investors, a lack of women in decision making positions, and a networking gap that negatively impacts women.2
Nevertheless what can be done
To improve the level of gender equality in Israeli high-tech, effort must be made at each of the stages surveyed in this report (and in other areas that, for lack of space, were not included). An interdepartmental government team is presently formulating recommendations for addressing the problem of human resources in the high-tech industry and to increase its number of employees. This team is addressing a significant portion of the issues presented in this report and will submit its conclusions and recommendations later this year.
Below are some preliminary directions of action that stem from the conclusions and insights presented in this report:
- Encouraging young women to choose mathematics, technology, and science studies in high school.
- Increasing the number of women serving in core technology roles in the military, including development and cyber.
- Increasing the number of women in academic study courses relevant for integrating into the high-tech industry.
- Focusing government attention on employing women in high-tech training programs.
- Increasing the number of senior women staff members in academic departments relevant to high-tech professions.
- Operating programs to reduce unconscious gender bias in the variety of entities involved in the field and in the designated training programs.
- Promoting supportive regulation in the labor market that will ease the integration of women, especially mothers, into high-tech.
- Promoting women to executive positions – from junior management.
- Maximizing women’s entrepreneurial potential for those interested in this direction.
- Expanding the Innovation Authority’s efforts to encourage women to apply for the various investment avenues.
- Appointing women to partner roles in venture capital funds.