ONE ON ONE
Tsofen created the Mentoring Program to increase the inclusion of Arab university students in Israel’s hi-tech industries. Arab university students lack the familiarity and connections to hi-tech that their Jewish counterparts gain through personal networks and army service. The heavy use of personal referrals in hi-tech recruiting further exacerbates the problem of Arab exclusion from the industry. The Mentoring Program identifies experienced Jewish and Arab engineers from the hi-tech industry and pairs them with Arab university students majoring in subject areas relevant to hi-tech. The program spans six months or longer, during which the mentoring pairs work together according to a pre-defined workplan and receive training workshops to increase the effectiveness of their collaboration. Through one-on-one meetings, phone calls, emails and mock interviews, mentees receive guidance on career planning, inter-personal communication skills, networking, CV-drafting, job-interview preparation and leads to open hi-tech positions. Respectively, mentors receive training in skill and leadership development as well as valuable volunteering experience. The mentoring program contributes to Tsofen’s vision of a shared, professional space for the Jewish and Arab communities in Israel with the goal of promoting equal opportunities and changing the social discourse.