Israel’s high-tech sector is the spearhead in global high-tech and IT technologies. Although the Startup Nation is leading the global scene – locally it’s suffering from a major shortage in human capital – in 2019 alone there are 15,000 open positions in high-tech! While companies are blindly trying to find solutions such as importing foreign engineers or outsourcing services overseas, Israel’s economy is losing income and growth. This creates the false screenshot that there isn’t enough local human capital to fill the tremendous need, however thousands of local candidates from marginalized populations are being overlooked. Women, Arabs, individuals with disabilities, ultra-Orthodox Jews, and young adults from the periphery have no or little access to these lucrative employment opportunities for one reason -the Israeli high-tech industry lacks the knowledge and tools necessary for promoting diversity and inclusion.
There are many cultural barriers between the industry and diverse candidates requiring both sides to adapt themselves to achieve the end result- diversity and inclusion in the employment realm. While itworks has a reputation for working with candidates- preparing for entry into high tech employment- the industry is learning that diversity and inclusion are an instrumental and crucial component in the success of bridging over its human capital needs.
itworks’ Diversity Works program aims to work with employers to diversify their hiring processes, increase the number of individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds in our partner companies, and ultimately diversify the high-tech workforce and keep Israeli jobs in Israel for Israelis. The Diversity Works program was established in 2017 in partnership and with the support of the US Embassy’s Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI).
The Action Plan
Through comprehensive work with employers the program includes: personalized diversification strategies tailored to the organization’s needs, workshops for HR personnel teaching them about diversifying their hiring practices, ongoing coaching and guidance to companies by our employment coordinators, and job placement services, Diversity Works aims to change the attitudes and practices of hiring individuals from diverse backgrounds and to create a high-tech sector that is inclusive of talented individuals from all walks of life.