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Profile: Nurit Cohen Inger, VP of Products at BeyondMinds

Women in Tech: “Satisfied customers are making me proud of what I do”

Sarah Schlothauer

Three years ago, we launched a diversity series aimed at bringing the most inspirational and powerful women in the tech scene to your attention. Today, we’d like you to meet Nurit Cohen Inger, VP of Products at BeyondMinds.

research study by The National Center for Women & Information Technology showed that “gender diversity has specific benefits in technology settings,” which could explain why tech companies have started to invest in initiatives that aim to boost the number of female applicants, recruit them in a more effective way, retain them for longer, and give them the opportunity to advance. But is it enough?

Three years ago, we launched a diversity series aimed at bringing the most inspirational and powerful women in the tech scene to your attention. Today, we’d like you to meet Nurit Cohen Inger, VP of Products at BeyondMinds.

Today’s Woman in Tech: Nurit Cohen Inger, VP of Products at BeyondMinds

Nurit Cohen Inger, VP of Products, defines and drives the product strategy and lifecycle of the company, along with developing and managing a strong team of product managers and designers. Bringing more than 22 years of experience in Information Systems, Nurit, the former Chief Data Officer in the IDF, has a track record in digital and data transformations, building AI solutions from ideation to production, innovation management, strategic planning, and software project management. Nurit has a M.S. in computer science focused on Artificial Intelligence from Bar Ilan University and a M.B.A from Tel Aviv University.

When did you become interested in technology?

I started my Bachelor’s degree in computer science without any background on this topic. I didn’t even have a PC at home. The first year was a disaster – mostly theoretical math studies. But by the end of that year, I started programming and fell in love with it – the creation and birth of a new application was thrilling!

How did you end up in your career path?

I started my career at the Israeli Defense Forces C4I and Cyber Defense Directorate, and ended up climbing the ranks and spending 21 years at this unit, leading various projects with strategic impact on the nation’s security. In my last position, I was the IDF’s Chief Data Officer, serving as the first person in this role. In 2019, I completed my military career with an honorable discharge, as a Lt. Colonel. As part of my role, I served as the focal point for AI solutions while building the relevant skillset to advance AI and data initiatives in the IDF. Realizing the immense potential of AI in military use – as well as its limitations and potential harm when misused, I promoted critical thinking on the ethical implications of using AI in both combat and in routine security operations.

     
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Did you receive support from your family and friends?

My family was supportive along my entire career path. Starting with my parents, who pushed me to major in science at high school (we were just a few girls between dozens of boys) and later on to study computer science at university.

I’m married with 3 kids – all of them are supportive in my demanding career – in the IDF, and now at BeyondMinds. I couldn’t have accomplished this without their help and consideration.

I have a great team of product managers and designers; together we design and execute the roadmap of our company’s future!

Did someone ever try to stop you from learning and advancing in your professional life?

No. Actually, I have to say, I have never felt a “glass ceiling” in my career path. I naively claim that technological positions have nothing to do with gender. On the contrary, I know for sure, some of my bosses preferred diverse management gender-wise, and all of them appreciated my personal and professional development.

A day in Nurit’s life

I’m the VP Product at BeyondMinds, an enterprise AI company that develops and delivers production-grade AI solutions that are fully customized to each customer based on business needs, pain points and available data. In my day-to-day, I lead the company’s product strategy and lifecycle, playing a pivotal role in bridging between R&D teams and the business – sales and customers. I am a member of the company’s senior leadership team, where I leverage my deep understanding of AI technology and how to implement AI in big organizations. I feel that I’m contributing on a daily basis to the company’s strategy. I spend a lot of time meeting with customers, understanding their needs, and how to develop our product accordingly. I have a great team of product managers and designers; together we design and execute the roadmap of our company’s future!

On top of my management responsibilities, I founded and lead the company’s Ethics Committee, which oversees ethical aspects of all company’s product deliverables, from initial model development to its actual deployment and ongoing use by the customer on real-world data.

What are you most proud of in your career?

I’m proud of many happy stakeholders that are using solutions that we’ve built; delivering value with technology is not as easy as it seems. Therefore, satisfied customers are making me proud of what I do.

Why aren’t there more women in tech?

Unfortunately, it starts with the socialization of girls at childhood. Girls are not empowered to learn STEM and this is the main reason we have significantly less women engineers than men.

Could you name a few challenges (or obstacles) women in tech face?

They are still minority; their voice might not be heard.

Make sure you are in a position that allows you to learn continually; new things related to your work, but also things that will broaden your horizons.

Would our world be different if more women worked in STEM?

Diversity is always preferred for every team – tech teams and management teams. Women are considered to be more cooperative (and less competitive), and this balance also contributes to the general atmosphere.

The discussion about diversity is gaining momentum. How long will it take to see results from the current discussion?

It will take time to create balance within mixed teams, but I believe that even small and moderated changes can have a significant effect on positive and efficient teamwork, and communication in workplaces.

What advice (and tips) would you give to women who want a tech career?

Always do what you love! You need to love your workplace, your teammates, your tasks, the technology you are developing. Do not compromise on these things.

Make sure you are in a position that allows you to learn continually; new things related to your work, but also things that will broaden your horizons.

Furthermore, I read a lot and believe it’s important – professional material but also prose. I am always taking some type of online course, from deep learning to creative writing and art. This helps me stay balanced and also makes me more creative.

More Women in Tech:

Author
Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer

All Posts by Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer is the editor for JAXenter.com. She received her Bachelor's degree from Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey. She currently lives in Frankfurt, Germany with her husband and cat where she enjoys reading, writing, and medieval reenactment. She is also the editor for Conditio Humana, an online magazine about ethics, AI, and technology.

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