News & Stories

Empathy - a new direction in the study of technological professions

Dr. Michal Balberg was invited to speak before the NGO CSW Forum, marking International Women's Month.


Dr. Balberg


Dr. Balberg, a researcher in the Faculty of Electrical and Electronics Engineering at HIT, will take part in the events of the NGO CSW Forum, being held in a special UN session on the issue between March 5-16, 2023.

"Prof. Adrian Ioinovici, a lecturer from the Faculty of Electrical and Electronics Engineering of HIT, contacted me and proposed tht I present a lecture on of women in the world of engineering - one of eight lecturers who will be participating,”says Dr. Balberg.

The topic of Dr. Balberg's lecture is “STEM with Empathy.” She talks about the integration of soft skills such as empathy and teamwork in the teaching of technological subjects. It turns out that women tend to choose professions in which these skills can be expressed and that they would prefer to choose fields related to health, well-being, and the environment, in which the benefit to humans and to the environment can be manifested.

Dr. Balberg presented two projects that she has led on the topic of integrating empathy and soft skills into STEM studies.

In the Faculty of Engineering at HIT, a unique soft skills course is being developed that prepares students for their final project and for the job market. 

In addition, as part of a pilot program initiated and funded by the Ministry of Education, Dr. Balberg trains elementary school science teachers to incorporate empathy into school lesson plans. The goal is to change the perception that engineering and science are technical “cold” fields, with no connection to people.

"The widespread but mistaken perception is that electrical and electronic engineers do not work with humans, but rather with machines and devices. It is very important to understand that at end of the development process, people are very much a part of the continuum, and that an electrical engineer can develop a sensor implanted in the human body or a technological component intended to help people or the environment".