The Alumni Association of the IDF 8200 intelligence unit's Woman2Woman (W2W) program has won a tender from the Innovation Authority to bring women back to R&D positions in hi-tech, the program announced on Wednesday.
The program will train women for development positions and integrate them into R&D positions over the upcoming year. The association is working in collaboration with leading Israeli hi-tech companies, including Microsoft's development center in Israel, Salesforce, Dell, General Motors and others.
Michal Krimolowski, director of Woman2Woman, stated that the main target audience is women with experience or education in technological professions who aren't currently employed in their field and interested in entering or returning to the field.
The program will host executives from hi-tech companies to talk about ways to integrate into development positions and arrange personal meetings for each participant based on their background and skills.
"In recent years, the proportion of women working in hi-tech positions has increased, including senior executives and entrepreneurs. However, when it comes to the field of R&D, which is the spearhead of Israeli hi-tech, female representation is still low, despite the companies' efforts to strive for gender balance," said Karen Herscovici, one of the founders of W2W.
Some 18,000 alumni of the 8200 unit are members of the association, which leads a variety of activities to promote technological entrepreneurship, minority populations and women in the technological world as well as technological education in Israel's periphery.
Earlier this month, the W2W program launched another program in collaboration with the National Insurance Institute (Bituah Leumi) that has sought to help women impacted by the coronavirus. Many of these women have lost their jobs as the pandemic forced the closure of the hi-tech businesses where they were employed due to government restrictions.
The program, called "Return," received some 400 applications from women for only 31 places, overwhelming the application process. The goal of the program is to help integrate women into significant positions in hi-tech and the economy.
The focus of the program is to help the women find opportunities by preparing CV's, their LinkedIn pages, entering their information on databases, and identifying personal and professional barriers. Meetings were also held with recruiters in hi-tech companies to help in networking, and included representatives from Microsoft, Salesforce, Dell, General Motors, BCG, Gornitzky Law Office, Discount Bank and others.