Happy International Women's Day! empow's R&D team is today 60% women. How did we do it and what does it mean for the company culture?
The Empowering Impact of Women at empow
At this time last year – International Women’s Day March 8th, 2019 – empow looked like most other hi-tech startups - very few women in the company, and those who were filled positions in marketing, HR and administration. How many women were on the tech-heavy R&D and product teams? One.
Fast forward to today and the picture looks very different. 40% of the company’s employees are women, including 60% of the R&D team and half of the product and research teams.
For Ofek Carmel, a programmer in the R&D team, working with so many women was a revelation: “I hardly saw any women in my university years studying computer science. I was preparing myself for the same experience at work but here it’s completely different.” One of the advantages, according to Ofek? “It’s refreshing to not have anything ‘mansplained’ to me. That hasn’t happened even once here. There’s a lot of respect and a relaxed atmosphere between everyone on the team, both men and women.”
So how did empow do it? “In the past year we were lucky enough to interview strong women candidates, show them that empow is a great place to work, and build the team we have now,” explains Roni Winisch, HR Manager. “Women candidates tend to underestimate their value in the market, but even when they asked for less, we raised our offer to match their value, and made sure there was no discrepancy in salaries between the men and women on our team. At the same time, we didn’t prioritize female candidates, but really chose the best person for each role.”
Rami Cohen, empow’s VP R&D, is proud of the makeup of his team. “All our R&D employees are graduates of top universities in Israel. We have a woman on the team who was a pilot in the Israeli air force, and women from the prestigious 8200 intelligence unit. They each bring unique talents and skills to the team and make it what it is today.”
For Eden Ganon, Senior Software QA Lead, the difference between empow and her previous work experiences, is stark: “I came to empow after a position in a corporate environment in which almost all my coworkers were men. For me it was a very stressful environment, the conversations and atmosphere felt strained. Here things are much more relaxed. I think everyone feels more comfortable when there’s a balance.”