Google Israel director says hiring Arab, ultra-Orthodox is 'very difficult'

i24NEWS

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T-shirts for sale in Jerusalem's Old City, on March 13, 2012.
Nati Shohat/FLASH90T-shirts for sale in Jerusalem's Old City, on March 13, 2012.

'I was very enthusiastic about the role, but in practice, we have moved the needle by nothing and a half'

Google’s Israel director Einat Nemesh told a conference this week that despite efforts by the technology giant to boost diversity, bridging cultural gaps in the Jewish state was proving “very difficult.”

“For all the desire to recruit [ultra-Orthodox workers] and Arabs, it’s very difficult, because of a wide range of culture gaps,” Nemesh told Globes at the ‘50 Most Influential Women’ conference.

Nemesh, who is responsible for promoting and implementing diversity at Google Israel, said that a great deal of action was being taken in this area, but hampering those efforts was a gap between what was desired and the situation on the ground.

“I was very enthusiastic about the role when I took it up, but in practice, we have moved the needle by nothing and a half,” she said.

“Even when we advertise jobs, and these candidates apply for them, when they come to interview and you want them to talk about their successes, in Arab society it seems to them very unnatural to do that.”

Google Israel is now running a program to prepare candidates for interviews, Nemesh noted.

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When asked about the situation in Israel’s technology sector, which is experiencing widespread layoffs and a slowdown in recruitment, the director said Google was adapting itself to the current mood, according to Globes.

"It was Disneyland here, there was a bubble, and now there’s a correction. Even with the layoffs, we’re seeing companies cutting the fat and streamlining,” she said.

“Google is there. It isn’t laying people off, but rather adapting itself.”

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