Q&A With Ilana Golan
Owner of Ilana Golan #CareerLeap
March 11, 2020
Ilana Golan, Owner of Ilana Golan #CareerLeap is an entrepreneur turned tech investor and Forbes Business contributor who loves to help individuals and companies grow. Selected top 40 women to watch in 2016 and Business Insider Silicon Valley Women of influence in 2017, Ilana is a Board Director and General Partner at Homrun, the first of its kind network-based venture, accelerating the growth of Israeli companies in North America.
Deck 7: What is the most important quality a leader must have in order to be successful?
ILANA GOLAN: Emotional Intelligence and understanding the dynamics of a team, how to motivate the individuals and make sure they are the best version of themselves in my mind is number one. A leader will only be as good as the team he or she is leading and therefore being able to get the most out of your team is key.
D7: Do you feel that women in technology careers face barriers not faced by their male counterparts? In your opinion, what are the initiatives to make it better?
IG: I believe the main barrier women face is the ‘first impression syndrome’. No woman or men will look at me at first impression and say ‘Oh she must be a really smart engineer and business leader’. That just doesn’t happen. So first impression is tougher for women and we need to somehow break this barrier. Once we do, we build great relationships and rapport, but this first impression hurts us in many roles including raising investments funds and more.
The more women we will see at key roles, the more we will realize that its possible and the first impression issue will go away. So first of all we need to have many more successes and make sure the world (both men and women) know about it. In the shorter term women will need to work a bit harder to build their reputation so it helps them with the first impression – more public speaking, more media coverage, etc. This is what I’ve been doing at #CareerLeap helping individuals and professionals shine and leap in their career breaking those barriers!
"Technology has a big part in changing every day of our lives and it's moving and changing quicker than we can grasp. Education system can’t prepare us for technologies that haven’t been created and ideas that haven’t been invented."
D7: Did you always know that working in technology was what you wanted to do? What led you to pursue hardware and software engineering?
IG: I feel in love with technology in the Air-force where I realized that with the power of technology I can train pilots to defend my country and come home safe. This role transformed me and I knew I want to take an active part in this fast pace technology world.
D7: You were also the first woman to become a commander (Lieutenant) in-charge of training all F-16 pilots in the simulator in Israel. Could you tell us about the experience?
IG: Indeed back in my days women were not allowed to become commanders in my squad but I decided to work day and night to prove myself. Breaking barriers is tough because you are constantly out of your comfort zone and you really don’t have many examples to look at but knowing I managed to overcome this challenge has opened remarkable opportunities for me and for women overall in the military and I am very proud of that.
"Innovation is happening in all verticals and women should and will take active part in leading these changes in the coming decade."
D7: Technology still remains to be a male-dominated industry. What initiatives should be taken in order to attract more young women in this field?
IG: The more young kids and teens are exposed to the possibilities and what changes they can drive in the world through technology and innovation – the more we will see young women join and stay as they progress to leadership. We also need to make it much easier for women to bounce back from maternity leaves. This is a big obstacle today and while we see many women join forces after college those numbers significantly go down with age. Its not all technology today. Innovation is happening in all verticals and women should and will take active part in leading these changes in the coming decade.
"In order to succeed in this fast pace era, you will need to constantly re-invent yourself, learn, adapt and leap from function to function and from industry to industry."
D7: What advice would you give to up and coming technology entrepreneurs?
IG: Technology has a big part in changing every day of our lives and its moving and changing quicker than we can grasp. Education system can’t prepare us for technologies that haven’t been created and ideas that haven’t been invented. In order to succeed in this fast pace era, you will need to constantly re-invent yourself, learn, adapt and leap from function to function and from industry to industry.
About Career Leap
Ilana Golan CareerLeap Program helps professionals who want to reinvent themselves in 60 days, leap to leadership, land a dream-job or start a business, gaining the reputation, pay, impact and balance they want and deserve. This is a unique program which takes years of insights from building and growing companies, into what’s needed to grow individuals to become the best version of themselves – motivated and super passionate about who they are, what they are doing and working on.
Ilana is the inventor of the MASTER technique which has been impacting thousands of lives and careers.