These three engineers are driving innovation in the IDF (Zahal) and inspiring the future generations of women in tech. Below, they share first hand insight and advice on their careers.
Captain Noa Tomy
“I work as an environmental and water resources systems engineer for the Air Force. The more my knowledge of water issues grew, the more driven I became to engineer solutions that would save water, manage sewage and wastewater, and prevent contamination. I am currently working on a smart-sensor water management system for the air force, which will allow us to monitor with great accuracy all the water infrastructure on bases to instantly catch leaks and pipe issues.
I didn’t just let things fall into place – I set concrete goals for myself and strove to achieve them. After working for several years in the private sector, I returned to the IDF (Zahal) because I saw an opportunity to work on major projects for advancing efficient water management on a large scale. Here I can take a leading role in new projects and to protect the environment. There are so many directions that women can take in the world, including engineering, so keep your eyes open.”
Major Lena Orlovsky
“I am a section head in the Communication Systems Architecture Department within the C4I Cyber Unit. What I love about engineering is that it comes at the intersection of scientific research and practical implementation. My work touches on IT, cyber, IP and communication systems. It’s empowering to develop new solutions whose value can be felt on a day to day basis. Get enthusiastic about your work–and it will drive you to success.
When it comes to balancing work and raising two children, my husband is the ultimate partner. We split responsibilities and he’s deeply involved in the kids’ upbringing. But as with any demanding job, you need to be prepared to make sacrifices. At the end of the day, I want to be a role model for my kids–I want them to see a mom that’s fulfilled and happy.”
“I currently serve as Section Head for Information Security Systems in the C4I Cyber Unit.
In the second section of Officers Training School, I was the only woman among 86 cadets. Afterwards, I became the first female engineer sent to a closed field base in the north as the chief technical officer. Since then, I have worked in a variety of areas during my service–from EW (Electronic Warfare) to telecommunication and information security. My advice? Don’t be afraid to be the first–embrace the challenge that lies ahead.
I want to see more women enter STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields. I am involved in a pilot program spearheaded by the Women’s Affairs Advisor to the IDF (Zahal) Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Rachel Tevet-Wiesel. We reach out to girls in 8th and 9th grade and expose them to the world of engineering and science.”
These women have not only succeeded in male-dominated fields, they have established themselves as leaders. They are goal oriented and champion the notions of persistence, passion and courage.