Speaker: Noga Ratner, Senior Program Manager, Google Cloud, Google
Tell us a little bit about yourself and the work you do
Noga Ratner: Hi, I'm Noga and I'm a senior program manager in Google Cloud. I'm part of Project Nimbus. Moving the Israeli public sector into the cloud. My background is actually in life science. I have a bachelor's in biotechnology engineering and a master's in chemistry, after which I worked in two Israeli startups, one green tech and the other health tech. I joined Google 2.5 years ago after graduating from Harvard Business School.
What does Women's Day mean to you?
Noga Ratner: For me, it's about women empowerment. It's a day that I take a second to recognize the inspirational women in my life, especially my mom and my grandmother, reflect on the boundaries that they pushed and the motivation that they gave me to follow my dreams and achieve my goals. I think that as long as there is a women's day, it means that we haven't reached equality yet, but hopefully we'll be getting there soon.
What are some of the things we can do as individuals and as businesses to support women's equality?
Noga Ratner: I think there are many things that can still be done some smaller and more tactical, like having a work environment in which both parents are encouraged to take time off to take care of kids, being transparent about same role salaries, and in languages where applicable, phrase communication and docs in a way that addresses both genders. The broader things are to be deliberate regarding reducing bias when hiring young females into roles. Also following up on hiring all roles, but especially leadership ones should strive to have a 50/50 split between men and women. I think it's important to enable taking courses in areas that are business focused but not necessarily role related and not in people's domain and see what collaborations can come out of that. Male allyship is extremely important. And as much as it's important for women to talk about women, I think it's also important to facilitate conversations with men on the benefits of diversity of gender, thought and perspective in the workplace. And most importantly, it's important for us women to support, educate, mentor and lift each other up.
What would you say is your proudest achievement?
Noga Ratner: Other than relationships with exceptional individuals throughout my life, on the career front, it would definitely have to be the Google Search Covid response. In March 2020 while I was still part of the central planning team for Google Search and based in the US, numerous articles regarding the new coronavirus disease began surfacing on search page results around the world. We identified a demand for high quality fresh Covid 19 health related information and we realized that inaccurate medical information could actually cause health risks. I reached out to my manager and told her that especially with my background, I have a passion to work on this and so I did. We hired and I managed the work of 50 physicians from all around the world, speaking all languages to vet and curate all COVID-related content on Google products. The approach was to establish a diverse, high quality team of medical experts. We created a phased approach to hiring, training and evaluating our physicians as well as set standards for quality control. All physicians participated in sessions where they would bring up issues they encountered and we discussed them as a team, things that we didn't think of before contact with animals, specific guidelines for pregnant women and more. And after reading thousands of authoritative articles, the physicians, together with the lead search physician would reach a consensus and create guidelines to vet articles by. We also had an auditor group for sampling the work and ensure the quality and make sure that we have continuous improvement. I feel so very fortunate that I had a significant leading role in building this program, and extremely lucky to work in a place that enables us to better the lives of billions of users around the world.