Zachy Hennessey
March 19

Nearly 40% of women in the tech industry occupy research and development (R&D) positions, representing a 130% surge over the past decade. Specifically, in 2023, 38% of women were engaged in R&D roles, compared to approximately 28% in 2013, demonstrating an annual growth rate of 2.7%, which is similar to that of their male counterparts.

This news comes as part of a recent report released by the Israel Innovation Authority, in collaboration with the Aaron Institute for Economic Policy at Reichman University. The report reveals a notable increase in women’s participation in R&D roles while also emphasizing key areas requiring improvement.

The tech industry, although experiencing a slowdown due to recent conflicts and legal reforms, has maintained a consistent growth rate of 2.7% for both men and women. However, there has been a decline in the proportion of women in administrative and business development roles, dropping from 50.7% in 2014 to 41.4% in 2024, indicating an 18% decrease over the last decade.

As well, women still constitute only a third of all high-tech positions, falling short of the 43% target set by the National High-Tech Human Capital Committee (also known as the Perlmutter Committee) for 2035. The gap is especially pronounced among Jewish women (non-ultra-Orthodox), with an estimated 80,000 positions needed to meet the designated target.

Image by metamorworks / Shutterstock.com
Image by metamorworks / Shutterstock.com

“While we’ve witnessed more women taking on core roles in the tech sector, the growth rate falls short of achieving gender parity goals,” said IIA CEO Dror Bin. “Efforts from both the tech industry and relevant government entities are crucial to breaking the glass ceiling for women earlier in their careers.”

The trajectory of Israel’s tech industry mirrors global trends in gender representation, with women comprising approximately one-third of the workforce, aligning with countries such as Poland, Germany and France. Notably, Sweden, known for its leadership in equality rankings, trails behind Israel with 29% women in tech, while Estonia, a frontrunner in digital transformation, boasts a relatively high proportion of women in tech at 40%. In the United States, the figure stands at 36.5%.

Sergei Sumkin, a senior researcher at the Aaron Institute for Economic Policy, highlighted that gender gaps in tech positions and R&D roles are not attributed to differences in ability or achievements but rather stem from varying choices made by individuals at different stages of their education.

“Therefore, since studies in advanced technological classes that allow for physics and computer science studies in high school are one of the prominent factors explaining the gender gap in employment in tech positions and the tech industry, access to tech studies should be provided to every student in Israel within the school framework or excellence centers,” he continued.

“Additionally, attention should be paid to the professional explanation by the school staff regarding the contribution of tech skills to quality employment for female students.”

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