Success Stories
Diversity & InclusionSuccess StoriesHaredi women in AT&T Israel

Haredi women in AT&T Israel

The community: Haredi, women

Slow start, grand finale – and counting

It was a learning process that took time, but today there are dozens of haredi women in AT&T Israel. Many of them have been in the company for a while and are integral to its success and accomplishments.

It began with an outsourced group of haredi women working with AT&T remotely. Some started off in junior positions, and some came with more experience. Over time, the company asked them to begin working on-site, which required special facilities such as a separate sitting area, a designated microwave with a sign, a nursing room, as many are young mothers, and more. Traveling was also a challenge since many of them, at least at the time, didn’t have their driving license or cars. So, both sides worked together to find solutions whenever needed, as both sides understood the upside of working together on-site.

While the company solved the logistics, it took time for both sides to find the right path to work together. Whether it’s collaborating with men, creating events they can be part of, adjusting to their hours as many of them are the primary keepers of their households, and more. Naturally, nothing came easy. It took time, effort, and goodwill on both sides, but it was worth it at the end of the day.

Nowadays, many of them joined AT&T as full-time employees, some were promoted to Team-Leaders, and more employees joined as well, directly or through a 3rd party collaboration. The best testament to their success is that many of them received Outstanding Employee Awards over the years and are involved in the core projects that the company is doing, with more teams asking to recruit haredi women.

Today, AT&T Israel is a solid ground for haredi women, where they can enjoy a workplace fully adapted to their needs, and the company has excellent employees in their arsenal, working together as a proven success story.

Shani Harif, HRBP at AT&T Israel R&D Center

Q. How are new employees reacting when meeting the haredi employees?

Sometimes there’s a short moment of surprise, which I think comes from the fact that it’s still a relatively rare sight, but it’s never an issue. I also think that most employees are so accustomed to this setting that it becomes a non-issue.

Q. After working here for quite some time, are there still challenges for the employees or you?

I don’t think it’s challenges as much as a state of mind. Just like you need to have vegan food options, for example, in events, so you also need to have Mehadrin kosher food. It becomes part of the routine to make sure they are well taken care of, no more or less than any other employee.

I think for them it’s sometimes hard to overcome the prejudice of people of meet them for the first time, but like I said – it goes away very fast.

Q. They often work different hours; does that affect the work?

It’s true they sometimes have a different schedule, as they get home early to take care of the family, but also here it’s a question of habit. Once you know this is the case you plan your day and tasks to fit their timeline, and it’s not a problem.

What’s impressive is that because they are working less hours, they make every minute count. There’s no chit-chat or long coffee breaks; from the moment they step into the office until they leave – they are focused on the work and results.

Q. Is there something you wish to tell other companies who think of following this formula?

Just remember, it can take time and flexibility is needed, but it’s totally worth it. You can reach new and extremely professional employees just by making some changes.