3 Wix Engineers Share What Its Like to be a Woman in Engineering

Robyn Foyster Robyn Foyster has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
on 25 June 2023

Three leading Wix Engineers share what they enjoy about their careers in the field of engineering on Women Love Tech as we celebrate World Engineering Day for Women.

Anat Polachek,  Head of the Data Engineering Guild at Wix

Anat Polachek is the Head of the Data Engineering Guild at Wix. In her 10+ years in the data-engineering industry, Anat has held a number of engineering roles, including a Data Scientist at MoveUP, a BI Team Lead at IronSource (Mobile Unit), and a BI and Reporting Team Lead at Galor Software and Systems. She has a vast knowledge of data modeling, and building robust and scalable data pipelines that enable analytics and data science teams to bring amazing insights to light.

Data Engineering Guild-Anat Polachek
Wix Female Engineer Anat Polachek
  1. Tell us about your role and what you enjoy about being an engineer.

I am currently the Head of the Data Engineering Guild at Wix. My journey within the company began as a Team Lead in the Data Engineering Guild, gradually assuming greater responsibilities that eventually led me to my current role. As the head of the Guild, my primary responsibility is to oversee the professional journey of all data engineers at Wix. This encompasses various aspects from recruiting to training and education all the way to fostering both personal and professional growth. My role requires me to be connected to the day-to-day of the data engineers, to understand their challenges and frustrations, and to derive from that the technologies and solutions we need to incorporate into our operations. This unique combination of people and technology is what I love about my job.

  1. Would you encourage other women to pursue a career as an engineer and if so, why?

Absolutely, I would definitely encourage any woman that enjoys technology and logical challenges to pursue a career as an engineer. In my view, individuals should pursue their passions and leverage their strengths, irrespective of gender. Engineering extends beyond coding and logic; it encompasses project management and teamwork. It is about taking brilliant ideas and initiatives and making them happen and I think women have much to contribute to that!

  1. Is now a good time to be in the tech sector and why?

We are now at a point in time when things are changing, and rapidly. Machine Learning (ML) and Generative AI is changing the way we learn, think, and operate. As a result, most of the roles in the tech sector are expected to evolve and incorporate more and more AI capabilities in order to save time and reach our goals much faster. Being in the tech sector now means taking part and shaping what the tech sector will look like in the future. This is exciting and fascinating and thus if you are in the tech sector now you are lucky.

  1. What do we need to do to encourage more female engineers?

To foster greater participation of female engineers, we need to stop talking about genders from very young ages. We should expose our kids to the same opportunities and make sure the distribution between the genders in more technological courses or activities is balanced. Presently, there is an inherent bias that needs to be overcome. By introducing more and more young girls to technical content, and nurturing their interest in engineering fields, we can witness a shift in the dynamics. I can personally say that I see this change starting to happen at my kids’ schools, but we still have a way to go. 

Shahar Nahum, FED Developer

Wix Engineer Shahar Nahum
Wix Engineer Shahar Nahum

Shahar Nahum is a Frontend Developer at Wix. With a passion for art and technology, Shahar graduated from a unique five-year dual BA program at the Hebrew University and Bezalel Academy of Arts. Nahum’s blend of artistic sensibilities and technical skills positions her as a versatile and highly skilled front-end developer.

  1. Tell us about your role and what you enjoy about being an engineer.

As a Front-End Developer in the Components group at Wix, I’m primarily involved in developing cutting-edge infrastructure that empowers our internal developers to create comprehensive components for the Wix Editors. This involves leveraging a minimal definition to build end-to-end solutions, spanning from component libraries to the editor and sites themselves, all while utilizing the latest technologies and methodologies. Furthermore, when encountering a complex use case of editor components behavior that is outside of our infrastructure scope, my team is the one developing it from scratch.

I enjoy being an engineer as I have a passion for creating things from the ground up and seeing them transform into the final product. I love seeing how all the pieces of my code come together to become a working product/site. But above all, I find it irreplaceable to be able to have an idea and be able to create it on your own.

  1. Would you encourage other women to pursue a career as an engineer and if so, why?

 Yes, of course. I encourage anyone that enjoys problem-solving and is passionate about creating projects from scratch to pursue a career in the engineering field.

  1. Is now a good time to be in the tech sector and why?

I think it is a great time to be in the tech sector as new technologies are created every day and there are so many different roles and domains that you can find yourself in. I love the idea that there is always something new to learn, making continuous learning an integral part of the role.  

What excites me is the multitude of implementations and applications that arise from all the different tools and technologies available today. As an example, I find engineering and art interesting, so I created a project during my academic journey that blended these two passions called “Painting Poetry.” The project contained a server that analyses the colours and visual language of artwork, matching the results to compatible words, and with those results, asks OpenAI to generate poems based on the words. The result of the project was a collection of poetry books that were inspired by real art collections (for example a MOMA collection) and a website that I built from scratch presenting the artwork next to all the generated poems. If you’re interested in exploring this project, you can here.

  1. What do we need to do to encourage more female engineers?

I think it is a complex question, but I believe one of the most important steps to encourage female engineers is removing the gender bias around studies and hobbies from a young age. At least I think that’s what encouraged me the most.

Other than that, I think that being exposed to other women in the industry and seeing their work can encourage other women. Furthermore, creating connections between women inside the industry and being able to consult with each other, and share similar experiences and challenges, is also beneficial.

Gal Sharir, Backend Guild Master at Wix

Backend Guild Master services at Wix-Gal Sharir
Gal Sharir is the Backend Guild Master of Premium services at Wix.

Gal Sharir is the Backend Guild Master of Premium services at Wix. With previous experience as the Billing and Payments team lead at Wix, Gal brings a wealth of knowledge in designing complex and highly resilient systems to her current role. Her unwavering passion for simplifying complex technical subjects, and streamlining processes related to production handling, architecture, API design, and people growth has been a driving force behind her success.

  1. Tell us about your role and what you enjoy about being an engineer.

I’m a Backend Guild Master at the premium services company at Wix, which means I am the tech lead and architect of my business unit, internally known as  “companies”.  My time is split between architecture and API discussions, improving our production handling, and mentoring others. The best part is that I get to focus on things I truly love, such as solving complex technical challenges and collaborating with talented people both within and outside my company.

One aspect of my job that brings me joy is the opportunity to collaborate with remarkable individuals, both as mentors and as learners, which forms a significant part of my daily activities. From a technical point of view, I thoroughly enjoy the seamless transition between the micro and the macro aspects of my job. Whether it’s delving into production issues or providing feedback on designs, I continuously strive to enhance our engineering knowledge, refine our tools, and establish helpful guidelines.

  1. Would you encourage other women to pursue a career as an engineer and if so, why?

I am a bit biased, but I would definitely recommend this career to women that enjoy working with amazing people, the joy of creation, and problem-solving. Beyond professional satisfaction, there is also the flexibility that comes with the profession which can include the option to work remotely, and wide specialisation options that fit different passions. For example, there are engineering roles that are more visual, more mathematical, or more business-oriented, it’s very diverse. 

  1. Is now a good time to be in the tech sector and why?

This is an amazing time to be in the tech sector if you want to see technical revolutions from within.  While we still have some time before robots completely take over, there are numerous groundbreaking technologies waiting to be invented, and a lot of growth will come around the development of those technologies. The real excitement lies in combining these technologies in innovative ways, and discovering how to use them to solve old and new problems that will be created like any revolution brings. 

  1. What do we need to do to encourage more female engineers?

To encourage more female engineers, we need to focus on multiple areas. It starts at the beginning of the funnel, in how we raise young women and the skills and beliefs they develop.  It continues in how we hire our engineers and foster an inclusive company culture. Creating an environment that values diversity, and encourages collaboration, is vital for attracting and retaining female engineers. We lose amazing talented women all throughout this journey, most of the time without being aware. 

If more women grow up in an environment that cultivates them to develop skills that are useful as engineers and get exposed to more female role models, then they can imagine themself as one when they grow up.

Lastly,  in the short term, we need to preserve the female engineers that are already on this path, by investing time to minimize bias from hiring and growth opportunities.

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