CTalk"We are not looking for charity. We are training the best programmers and bringing them into the high-tech sector"
"We are not looking for charity. We are training the best programmers and bringing them into the high-tech sector"
Liat Weiss-Shahaf, VP Strategy and Development at Appleseeds, was speaking on a panel focused on diversity and inclusion, with Ruth Polachek, Founder and CEO at she codes, Moshe Friedman, Co-Founder at KamaTech, and Batsheva Moshe, Chairman at Yozmot Atid and Board Member at Ofanim
Diversity and Inclusion was the main subject at a panel held on Wednesday as part of the Calcalist 2023 Forecast conference. Industry experts, including Ruth Polachek, Founder and CEO at she codes, Moshe Friedman, Co-Founder at KamaTech, Batsheva Moshe, Chairman at Yozmot Atid and Board Member at Ofanim, and Liat Weiss-Shahaf, VP Strategy and Development at Appleseeds, took part in the panel that was moderated by Noa Gadot from CTech.
Every one of the panelists stated that the government has done a lot for their communities in the past, specifically the labor arm of the Ministry of Economics. “There is an understanding that the macroeconomic fundamentals are backing us and making it easier. The tech industry is growing quickly and it is very welcoming," said Polachek. "The reason for this is that there is a huge opportunity as we are helping the community grow. Even though there are hurdles along the way, the government understands the potential and it is here to invest.”
Friedman agreed, yet added that the support is small. “In my opinion, the government should act like a VC firm, they should find good ventures and invest in them. I see the government trying to build their own initiatives, in my opinion that is not effective. Find the right entrepreneurs and give them resources so they can do much more. I had a meeting with the ex-minister of economy and I showed her that every dollar invested in education for Haredim provides an ROI of 100X for the government, it's a no-brainer”.
Moshe spoke of the business community. “We see everyone opening their hearts and understanding that it's our future, it's not philanthropy. Everyone will be affected by the results of the investments we are making right now as eventually we want everyone to participate and pay taxes, and take part in the heavy lifting together.”
Weiss-Shahaf stated that “the most important thing to remember is that we are not looking for charity, we are training the best, top notch programmers and we are bringing that into the high-tech sector. We are bringing this gift of amazing people that will encourage diversity inside the companies and the government and the high-tech sector need to support it."
Moshe agreed with Weiss-Shahaf and added: “We need to make sure our alumni are the best so that when they become candidates, recruiters don't feel like they are offering them a shortcut. There are no shortcuts in tech, it is a very data driven industry."
You can watch the full panel in the video above.