IBM Empowers 650K Women in Asia-Pacific with Digital Skills

IBM recently shared its progress on its goal to train one million women and girls across APAC
IBM recently shared its progress on its goal to train one million women and girls across APAC
IBM continues to engage learners through its APAC education initiative, as it seeks to champion women and girls through technology training opportunities

IBM is committed to advancing global education and is continuing to support efforts to uplift women within the technology industry.

As part of this, the tech giant continues its support of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity Upskilling Initiative. This is a public-private initiative led by US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and is designed to offer women and girls in the Asia-Pacific region (APAC) with access to training and education in digital skills.

The company recently shared its progress on its goal to train one million women and girls across APAC, announcing that 650,000 learners have already engaged with its programmes since 2022. Eager to democratise access to technology education, IBM is harnessing its SkillsBuild offering to make good on its pledge to skill 30 million people by 2030.

As technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) continue to disrupt the global business landscape, companies around the world will need workers with greater skill sets. 

IBM’s commitment to educating women

Whilst technology continues to make its mark worldwide, improved access to education and training programmes is vital to not only expand opportunities, but to also keep businesses competitive.

Research by UNESCO has found that women only make up 35% of STEM graduates currently. Likewise, women comprise just 21% of the overall talent pool in AI and automation, with global gender imbalances continuing to grow across the sector.

As a result, larger businesses like IBM are seeking to support more initiatives that include women and promote greater gender balances within the workplace. A significant aspect of that is education.

“Democratising access to technology training and AI skills is crucial for today’s workforce,” notes IBM Chairman and CEO, Arvind Krishna. “IBM has made significant progress on our goal to train 1 million women and girls in the Asia-Pacific region, with nearly 650,000 learners already engaged in our programs since 2022.”

He adds: “We are continuing to expand our partnerships in the region in our effort to make digital skills more accessible around the world.”

IBM SkillsBuild: Increasing access to technology 

IBM states that it is taking a holistic approach to its education and training initiatives, collaborating with organisations across APAC to increase access to technology education.

A significant part of this is IBM SkillsBuild, a programme that offers free learning, support and resources to foster STEM skills from secondary education to entry-level employment.

The tech giant has already seen success with its endeavours across APAC, including:
  • Japan: Collaborating with ReBit to empower LGBTQ+ individuals facing employment bias through skill-building
  • Malaysia and Indonesia: Offering AI and cybersecurity education via its partnerships with Malaysia’s Penang State Education Department and Indonesia's Ministry of Education
  • Philippines: Working with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority to provide cybersecurity training for trainers and trainees
  • India: Continuing to strengthen partnerships with organisations such as the Haryana State Board of Technical Education and various foundations and government bodies

IBM finds itself at a pivotal moment for inspiring and equipping the next generation around the world. As part of its APAC upskilling pledge, the company also seeks to create equitable impact by expanding opportunities for all and uplifting women within technology sectors.

Encouraging more women into technology is necessary, given that a broad range of insights can contribute to building a more secure and resilient future for everyone.

Other large corporations such as Microsoft have recently followed suit in APAC, committing to train millions of workers - including women - in AI technology to democratise access and limit biases.

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