Noa Zilberman is the Head of Startups for Check Point. Previously, she Co-Founded Odo Security, and served as the company’s Chief Product Officer. Odo offered a cloud-based, clientless secure access service edge technology that delivered secure remote access. In 2020, Check Point acquired the company for $30 million and integrated the technology into its Infinity architecture.

In this outstanding interview, in honor of International Day of Women and Girls in Science (Feb 11th), Head of Startups for Check Point, Noa Zilberman, discusses her exciting career, women in tech, and how we can broaden opportunities for the next generation of women.

Tell me about your career, including entrepreneurship?

I have always loved mathematics, but I was only exposed to programming and networks (computers) in the army, as part of my service as a network researcher in 8200. After the army, I pursued a double degree in mathematics and computer science, and in the process I also did research projects at the Weizmann Institute and worked as a programmer at Google, and took a six-month trip around the world (recommend!)

What are you doing in your current role at Check Point?

I am establishing a new startup division within Check Point that will support cyber innovation in Israel and around the world.

What do you like about working at Check Point?

There are so many differences in working at a startup compared to a corporation and at first I was a little afraid of the transition, but I was so happy to discover that Check Point is very non-standard in many ways. I was especially surprised by the openness to ideas, innovation and internal organizational initiatives.

A tip that will inspire women in technological fields:

Oh, there are many. I think one of the most important tips is to take risks, because what could happen? The decision to establish a startup was very difficult for me and I would not have been able to accept it without my partners. I’m sure that many women face similar challenges, whether it’s a job change, a salary increase, or some kind of horizontal change – don’t be afraid! Most of the time, the reality will surprise you : )

How do you think that we can encourage a greater number of young women to enter the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics?

I think it is all about exposure – growing up I was one of 2 girls only in my Mathematics & Physics class, and it’s no coincidence that both mine and my friend’s mothers were scientists. I am recently exposed and involved in several different groups and organizations, all aiming at exposing young women to successful women in STEM careers and I really think this is the way to go. The less we talk about inequality and the more we demonstrate women in tech and science careers the more natural it will be for the next generation.

What can corporations and organizations do to assist in promoting women’s participation in STEM careers, if anything?

Host events for young women, send key figures to lecture and do everything you can to keep a gender balance within the work place.