The Girls in Tech Network
was initially founded by Adriana Gascoigne in San Francisco in 2007, its aim being to empower women in technology.
Included in the 'Girls in Tech top 100 list' were four Israeli women, Orit Hashay, Gali Ross, Amit Knaani, and Moran Bar.
To find out more about Girls in Tech I contacted Roxanne Varza who manages the UK
What is Girls in Tech? Is it well known globally?
Girls in Tech is an international network with chapters all over the world - in different US cities, in China, Taiwan, Singapore, France, etc. - Girls in Tech focuses on empowering women working in the field of technology by providing them with more visibility through mini tech conferences and meet-ups.
What kinds of professions or areas of technology do women seem to be involved in?
In Europe, there are lots of women entrepreneurs and journalists. There are fewer women engineers and investors. Women also tend to be heavily involved in marketing and communications roles within larger organisations.
Why do you think women find it difficult to break into the tech markets?
Historically, tech and science were areas that seemed to clash with what society may value or characterise as feminine. When women first began entering the workforce, their roles were more domestic or clerical in nature, and far less technical.
I think some of the stigma of tech being non-feminine has somewhat stuck, some girls simply don't feel it is "sexy" to have a career in tech (typical image of a "tech geek" is an unattractive girl). There have been some studies in the UK that have shown that the image women have of technical careers is not particularly positive.
How do you promote yourselves and women?
Girls in Tech has been featured in lots of international publications and media outlets.
As part of our aim to promote women as a whole, we select specific women speakers that we believe have impressive profiles and serve as good role models. We also use social media channels to promote speakers or even just impressive women from the tech industry.
Our top 100 women in tech list is another means of promoting individual women and sharing their accomplishments.
The list was compiled from nominations - were the nominations only from members of Girls in Tech?
Not at all! Actually Girls in Tech does not have a presence in most European countries yet and wasn't launched in London either as we were compiling the list. We opened it up so that anyone could be nominated from any European country and we did our best to cover as much ground as possible.
We ended up with finalists from 19 different countries.
How many countries entered nominations?
I think we had 21 countries with nominations.
How did you choose the final 100 - through votes only or also for achievements and type of tech these women are involved in?
Essentially we opened up nominations online so anyone could nominate any women from any European country. We had about 15 judges selecting finalists for a particular region or country that they were most involved in. These finalists could be from the nomination list, from their networks, etc. Once we received all the nominations, we checked to be sure that they were women that had made a significant contribution to the tech industry or played a valuable leadership role.
How has the response been towards Girls in Tech as a whole?
Actually, what you may find interesting is that each country reacts very differently to the idea behind Girls in Tech. For example, in Paris, the community was very supportive of everything. The name of the organisation, the logo, the use of the colour pink, etc. never posed a problem.
In the UK, we actually got quite a bit of backlash, which I found rather interesting. People were upset that our organisation was called "Girls" in tech (and not "women"), they felt this was patronising and some women said they would not attend simply because of the name - which I think is really a shame. Other people were upset about the logo and the use of the colour pink. Some people were even upset that such an organisation would exist and why we should need to encourage women in tech.
In the end, we're simply hosting women-led tech conferences, aiming to give women more visibility in the tech industry. I certainly don't think we're doing much damage.
So why do these Israeli women deserve to be placed in this list?
is CEO and founder of Brayola.com
a personal bra shop that helps women discover their next favorite bra, without having the trauma of having a fitting. Orit is also co-founder of Ramkol, Israel’s leading local reviews site, and mit4mit, Israel’s 2nd most popular consumer wedding services reviews site amongst other technological start up initiatives.
, co-founded Razoss
, a company that developed a transparent over-layer enabling web-based content and applications to be displayed over any active Internet browser. For example, if you want to access your Facebook account while filling out a form and you don't want to close the form, Razoss provides a see-through platform that allows you to do this.
, is head of Products at ooVoo
. OoVoo provides a free HD Video chat service for up to six users across all platforms including PC, Mac, Android and iPhone. She is also Product Manager at babyfirst tv and Co-Founder of Vikido.
, is Managing Partner and CEO at Venturegeeks.org
the first Israeli based startup accelerator program that helps by providing seed funding and mentoring. Moran is also a Co-Founder and CEO at GeekMedia covering “all technology related topics from Internet and Social Media, through Gadgets and Mobile up to Information security and IT.” GeekMedia runs the largest tech blog in Israel, Newsgeek.co.il .
I chatted with Orit Hashay founder of Brayola.com about being chosen:
Did you expect to be on such a list?
No, it was a total surprise
How do you feel about being part of this?
All positive recognition makes you feel really good. I got so much attention from the press and people. Actually, I got more best wishes and well dones on this than when I got married.
Do you any recommendations for Israeli women trying to launch themselves into tech business?
Yes, I have recommendations for all Israeli women and men: Seriously Just do it!