Microsoft head tells Israel to hire more women

May 25, 2018 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Microsoft Israel R&D head Assaf Rappaport warned that Israel would lose its status as a hi-tech powerhouse if it did not hire more women.

Assaf Rappaport

Speaking to Ben-Gurion University President Prof. Rivka Carmi on Wednesday at SilicoNegevBGU, Rappaport said, “This is a painful subject. Even the numbers show: 35 percent of university graduates in relevant fields are women yet in the world of hi-tech only 20% are women. That means we have a large part to play in the problem.”

“Integrating women and team diversity in general is not a social issue or philanthropy, it is a business necessity so that we as Microsoft and we as the Israeli hi-tech industry can succeed. It’s an issue of innovation and development opportunities,” he declared.
“I didn’t start out this way,” the 34-year-old head of one of Microsoft’s major R&D centres continued, “When I created the start-up, we were almost all men, we were all graduates of 8200, we all looked alike and I was disappointed. It was an excellent team but not diverse.
“We will lose our status as a hi-tech powerhouse if we don’t act now to hire more women,” he declared.
Rappaport visited BGU’s Advanced Technologies Park prior to his chat with Prof. Carmi and was impressed with what he saw.
“The first thing I noticed was the multitude [of companies]. You walk around the hi-tech park and see the logos. So many companies, and not just the big ones, not just the global R&D centers who are here, but also the small start-ups, which is great that they have a place here,” he said.
Rappaport also praised the unique ecosystem that has developed in Beer-Sheva.
“To understand conceptually that this place will become an eco-system may sound trivial but to develop it is a lot harder. There are rivalries between every organisation, whether it’s the government, start-ups, big companies, academia, the IDF which is moving here – but you succeeded in building a bridge to all of them. For example, seeing the CEO of Microsoft visiting DELL-EMC who are sitting with representatives of start-ups and showing them one of IBM’s videos. I said to myself, ‘This does not happen anywhere else in the world!’ I think this bridge in Beer-Sheva that you succeeded in building is unique,” he declared.
SilicoNegevBGU is the biggest entrepreneurial event in the South and will conclude this evening with the announcement of the winner of the start-up competition who will receive a check for NIS 500,000 provided by the Mata organisation. The event is organized by BGU, Mata and the Tech7 Community in conjunction with the Beer-Sheva Municipality.


One Response to “Microsoft head tells Israel to hire more women”
  1. Robert Weil says:

    Another sick consequence of the new Golden Calf called “diversity”. Employment in the hi-tech industry, in fact all industries, should be based on the ability of the individual, not on the makeup of their genitalia.

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