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Women in Procurement Spotlight | Mor Cohen-Tal

Mor Cohen-Tal's journey from an aspiring doctor to the tech industry showcases the power of unexpected opportunities and adaptability. Now the Co-Founder and CTO of Opstream, Mor transitioned from a potential career in medicine to making significant strides in AI, holding eight patents. Her path, marked by a chance encounter that led her into tech, highlights the importance of embracing change. As a leading figure in a male-dominated field, Mor exemplifies how data-driven decision-making and a willingness to step into the unknown can pave the way for success. Her story is a compelling reminder for women in tech of the unforeseen possibilities that arise from being open to new experiences.

Could you share more about your journey into tech and what inspired you to pursue this field?

Originally, I thought that being a doctor is the only real option, but my relationship to blood made that impossible. My journey took an unexpected turn when, while working as a waitress, I was offered a chance to interview for a QA role at a startup, which opened my eyes to the transformative power of coding and product development. This chance encounter, coupled with my realization of the potential within computer science, reshaped my career trajectory.

What has been a significant challenge in your career, and how did you overcome it?

One of the biggest challenges was realizing that my expectations about being heard and valued in professional settings often didn't match reality. I learned to shift my approach, letting data and facts underpinning my opinions lead the way, which significantly enhanced my ability to influence and make impactful contributions.

What advice would you give to women aspiring to enter and succeed in tech?

My advice is twofold: always speak up, and when you do, let the data speak for you. This approach not only strengthens your arguments but also compels you to be better informed and make decisions based on solid evidence, thereby accelerating your professional growth.

Where do you see the future of tech heading, and what skills will be crucial for future leaders?

The future challenges in tech revolve around keeping pace with digital transformation, safely adopting AI, and fostering a culture of creativity and innovation. Embracing these changes and understanding their implications will be key to driving transformative advancements within the industry.

Outside of work, what hobbies do you enjoy, and how do they influence your professional life?

I find solace and rejuvenation in nature and outdoor activities, balancing the sedentary aspects of tech work. Cooking remains a significant hobby, offering a creative outlet and a way to unwind, reflecting the importance of finding activities that enrich both personal and professional life.

In honor of Women's History Month, who are the women who have inspired you the most?

Personally, my mother has been my greatest inspiration, exemplifying the balance between building a successful career and family life. Professionally, Dr. Deborah Estrin, whom I met during my graduate studies, taught me the value of embracing my geekiness and the importance of data-driven advocacy, leaving a lasting impact on how I approach my work and career.

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