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Profile: Hadas Weinrib, Head of Marketing, Lightspin

Women in Tech: “A tech career is rewarding in every way”

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 Hadas Weinrib, Head of Marketing at Lightspin.

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 Hadas Weinrib, Head of Marketing at Lightspin.

Today’s Woman in Tech: Hadas Weinrib, Head of Marketing, Lightspin

Hadas is an experienced marketing and product leader, offering expertise across tech business-centric environments as a product, marketing, and business strategy expert. Before leading the marketing efforts at Lightspin, Hadas served in multiple product and marketing roles at tech B2B companies in Israel and in the Silicon Valley, she led the startup capital raising department at BDO Consulting Group, and her own startup initiatives as well. Hadas holds BS and MS degrees in electrical engineering and an MBA, all from Tel Aviv University, where she also served as a researcher and teaching assistant.

When did you become interested in technology?

I’ve always liked math and physics and knew that science would be a major focus of mine. I wanted to get a degree that would open the broadest range of opportunities for me, and I chose electrical engineering, which felt like the best combination of math, physics, and computer science. Being a woman didn’t impact my decision. I wanted to study what I liked. We were around 10-15% females in my class, and the studies were challenging.

How did you end up in your career path?

After getting my engineering degree (BS), I felt like I could do anything. I started to go in the research direction and got a master’s degree (MS) in electrical engineering, and after graduating, I realized I actually wanted to work on real products. I started my own start-up project trying to establish a new technological incubator for startups in the IoT space. With my partner, we raised $25M, built a team and got an office, with the goal to win a bid of the Israeli Ministry of Economy.

Unfortunately, we didn’t win the bid – we lost to a big company, which was a bit of a setback. However, I learned from this experience that startups are where I want to be.

I worked as a consultant to startups for a few years, helping them pitch to investors and create their go-to-market plans. In parallel, feeling a need to shift from technology to the corporate side of things, I got my MBA at Tel Aviv University. After a few years of consulting, I moved to Silicon Valley and started working in product roles, and eventually in product marketing.

Did you receive support from your family and friends?

I received all the support from my family. My father has a PhD in engineering, and as his firstborn he always pushed me to maximize my capabilities and still focus on my personal and family life. Both my parents educated me to work hard and do what I was good at. Yet, it wasn’t easy for them to accept my shift to the marketing and business side of things after investing so many years in research.

I found my passion is where the magic happens, when sophisticated technology turns to a product that solves people’s problems.

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

I don’t think anyone tried to stop me, but people always had questions: how will you manage with a very intense career and a family? Having said that, I think the main issue I always had was with myself. Women naturally question their capabilities and continuously ask themselves if they are good enough.

A day in Hadas’ life

Today I manage the entire marketing for Lightspin, an amazingly innovative cloud security company. My responsibilities include the entire marketing aspects such as demand generation, product marketing, branding, web, digital, communications, and more. I enjoy working with SaaS B2B products based on innovative technologies and mainly enjoy working with tech-savvy customers who care about the products and the technology behind them. In this cybersecurity domain we’re in, our buyers can no longer ignore the DevOps portion of security ops today. It requires the marketing teams to raise awareness of these areas.

What are you most proud of in your career?

I found my passion is where the magic happens, when sophisticated technology turns to a product that solves people’s problems. Taking complex products with deep technology and translating them to a value proposition is my sweet spot. I’m proud that I found the combination of what I’m good at and enjoy from, and what I’m most appreciated for.

Why aren’t there more women in tech?

I understand why women stay away from technological studies. Being a minority is not easy, and it doesn’t always feel like a supportive environment for women. I do want to challenge this perception. First of all, the best students in my class were females. As I said, I know so many talented women, and not having them in the industry is a massive loss for everyone. A tech career is rewarding in every way, and with the increasing number of female tech leaders, we see more and more inspiring role models. I have four children and a spouse in tech, and I can attest that it’s possible and even fun with the proper support.

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

Being a minority is always hard. The atmosphere might unconsciously feel hostile. Even if it’s not confrontational it can feel very masculine and therefore uncomfortable for women.

If you want to succeed you need to:

  • Know what you want
  • Believe in yourself
  • Stand by your opinion
  • Speak up
  • Demand what you deserve

All of these characteristics don’t always come naturally for women.

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

Of course. I’ve seen so many times how things change when women are in the forefront. Things can be done more quietly, efficiently and with fewer ego issues. I know so many super talented women in STEM and I can’t stop thinking of how many the industry lost due to different reasons.

I know so many super talented women in STEM and I can’t stop thinking of how many the industry lost due to different reasons.

I think not having enough women in these industries is a big loss for everyone.

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

Yes, and I already see the change starting to happen.

My company’s founders both clearly see the advantages that women leaders and employees have, and they are actively seeking and recruit the most talented women, particularly in tech positions. And it seems to work. Today we are gender-balanced – 50% female employees in all departments, including R&D. This is Lightspin’s mission. And I see this trend everywhere around me. Yes, there is still lots to be done, but I do think we’re on the right way.

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

First of all, don’t hesitate. You’re not less competent or less capable than any other man. They just have more natural confidence which we need to work harder to achieve.

Second – don’t be afraid to use your advantages. I found that caring less about ego issues and being good at developing relationships helped me so much in my career. I was able to navigate political issues better and solve crises using my soft skills, which I believe are integral parts of being a woman.

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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