A report that examined 70 Venture Capital funds and 424 private and VC-backed startups that are active in Israel revealed that the average percentage of women represented in companies is 33%. Though there is a more substantial presence of women in large companies (36%) than in smaller companies (30.8%), the representation of women in tech jobs is a mere 27%. When it comes to management roles, being a C-level executive, VP, or director, only 23.4% of these positions are filled by women. That is to say, less than a quarter of the decision-makers in the ecosystem are women. When looking at VCs, only 14.8% of the partners are women and only 9% are investing partners. This piece of data correlates with the percentage of companies that are founded by women in the tech industry which is 12%. These statistics reflect not only the Israeli tech ecosystem but also the global one, as the universal technology industry has only 31% overall female representation.
In order for the startup nation to continue to thrive, there needs to be more diversity within tech. Overall, higher gender inclusivity in the tech industry can lead to better outcomes, with more efficient decision-making, bolstered innovation, and enhanced business and economic yields. And so, there is no reason why the human makeup of the ecosystem should not represent the number of women in the general population and the number of qualified women for these roles. Though there has been a significant increase in the number of women that are represented in the tech ecosystem in Israel, it is far from being enough. This series will focus on those women who have made it in tech and tell the stories of their journeys within the tech ecosystem– where they are now, and how they got there. We hope that this series will inspire other women to go after their tech-driven goals and not let gender biases, prejudices, and stereotypes get in their way; we hope to motivate companies to allocate considerable resources to the implementation of diversity programs and focus on expanding the pool of candidates that are underrepresented in the workforce; we hope to encourage government and educational institutions to take measures in providing the tools, support, and means necessary to enable a more diversified tech workforce.
A highly motivated team player, results-driven, with a passion for making things happen. These are just a few ways Jenny Bruk, Senior Director of Engineering at Armis, describes herself. Prior to Armis, Jenny had extensive experiences in various forms whether it was working in engineering at Elbit Systems Ltd., as Technical Accountant Manager at Microsoft, and as Software Technical Leader and R&D manager as well as director at Philips Healthcare for over six years. In two predominantly male-leading fields of work, engineering and technology, Jenny is proudly leading the path for herself and many other aspiring women who would like to put their best foot forward in these industries.
Cyber security threats have been around since the beginning of technology and as technology becomes smarter, the online threats become more intricate and smarter along with the technology. The risks of cyberattacks are endless and it is not an exaggeration to say that cyberattacks can have a huge negative impact on day-to-day life. Cyberattacks can cause breaches of national security secrets and electrical blackouts which result in the theft of valuable identity records such as medical records, financial records, government records, and more. Armis is the first of its kind for the way in which they protect its customers with its security technology platform.
Armis is the leading unified asset visibility and security platform designed to address the new threat landscape that connected devices create. Fortune 1000 companies trust their real-time and continuous protection to see with full context all managed, unmanaged assets across IT, Cloud, IoT devices, medical devices (IoMT), operational technology (OT), industrial control systems (ICS) and 5G. Armis provides passive and unparalleled cybersecurity asset management, risk management, and automated enforcement.
Their technology platform uniquely discovers and analyzes all devices – managed or unmanaged – from the most traditional devices such as smartphones and laptops to more complex devices such as smart TVs, printers, medical devices, and more. Armis protects its customers from various cyber-attacks, and risks, and identifies any form of suspicious behaviour on the devices by quarantining them. They deliver complete asset intelligence by completing network security visibility, contextual device intelligence, and continuous agentless security. In 2022, Armis was awarded 26 on DUNS 100 International for Best HighTech Companies to Work For. DUNS explains that Armis is a “front-row seat experience to building a first-class company” and exemplifies a “positive atmosphere of excellence.”
Jenny’s academic excellence stems from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology where she received her Bachelor of Science in Computer Science in 2013 and went on to receive her Master of Business Administration in 2019. In the workforce, Jenny received the Best Employee Award in January 2012 associated with Elbit Systems Ltd. as well as the Eager-To-Win Award in November 2015 with Philips Healthcare. It is safe to say that as a female in tech, Jenny goes above and beyond to set herself aside from the stigma of women in tech as well as exemplify a more-than-positive outlook for other aspiring females.
Diversity in the workplace can bring a range of benefits to a company. A diverse workplace can bring different perspectives, experiences and backgrounds which can lead to more innovative and creative solutions to problems. Indeed, Jenny describes how in her workplace at Armis, diversity is considered a priority: “Our management tier has a high representation of women; in fact three out of five senior managers are women, and 40% of our employees are women”. In addition, a diverse and inclusive workplace can lead to higher levels of employee satisfaction, therefore Jenny affirms that her job is that of “making sure that the managers who report to me are equipped to succeed, and that they feel challenged and motivated”.
Jenny adds how self-esteem and self-efficacy are essential tools in order to succeed in any working environment. Since being a woman in tech also implies the possibility of simultaneously trying to build a family and have kids, thus experiencing some halt in one’s career, it is vitally important to make sure that “The workplace is attentive to the different phases of life and not see them as hindrances.” So, at Armis the company has hired pregnant women and promoted women right after maternity leave, to lead by example.
Armis has skyrocketed throughout the tech and security environment globally; in view of that, Jenny was asked if the latter had in any way changed the discourse about how her role is respected and considered within the company. “It’s compelling to be a part of an esteemed company in the industry. There’s an inflation of titles on LinkedIn, but when the title that represents your role is associated with a leading company like Armis, it affects your career and opens doors: “It tells people that the challenges you’ve faced are probably the most complex in your field”. The challenges Jenny is talking about definitely refer to having to cross the gateway of the misconception that working in tech and computer science is strictly reserved for men, but she hopes more women and girls will join her: “I’m sure that girls who experience programming will feel the thrill of ‘getting something to work’ and they’ll fall in love with it.”
And when it comes to managing work and life- Jenny offers two pieces of advice to women aspiring to lift off in their careers in tech: Seize opportunities and experiment! Jenny recalls a time when a female friend of hers was thinking of switching to a different professional role, but since she was planning to get pregnant she wasn’t sure it was the right time. Jenny explained to her that there is never a ‘right time’. “You should not hesitate to consider new opportunities, even if they may be outside your comfort zone or if you think you are not ready for them. Experimenting with new things and challenging yourself can help you develop your skills and career in ways you never imagined. So be bold and do not be afraid to take risks in your career path.”
Written by Alissa Abrahami, Anoushka Redding, and Michal Pacifici