Empowering Women and Girls in Asia-Pacific: IBM's Commitment to Education

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IBM has pledged to train 1 million women and girls in Asia-Pacific over five years, aligning with the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework Upskilling Initiative. As of June 2024, nearly 650,000 have been trained. This effort addresses the disparity in STEM education and career opportunities for women, identified by UNESCO and IBM studies.

IBM's holistic approach involves collaborations with various organizations across the region. Examples include partnerships in Japan for LGBTQ+ empowerment, AI and cybersecurity education in Malaysia and Indonesia, and cybersecurity training in the Philippines.

Stories of individual successes, such as Ashley Pojol from the Philippines and Shilpi Pachauri from India, highlight the transformative impact of IBM's SkillsBuild program. IBM’s broader goal is to skill 30 million people globally by 2030, with 11.5 million already trained.

This initiative underlines IBM's commitment to equitable impact and underscores the societal benefits of empowering women through education and skills development.

  • IBM has already trained nearly 650,000 women and girls in Asia-Pacific towards their goal of 1 million.
  • The company's partnerships span multiple countries, enhancing regional cooperation and impact.
  • IBM SkillsBuild has helped individuals like Ashley Pojol and Shilpi Pachauri build successful careers, showcasing tangible outcomes.
  • IBM’s broader commitment includes skilling 30 million people globally by 2030, with over 11.5 million trained so far.
  • The initiative addresses significant issues like gender disparity in STEM and job security concerns related to AI.
  • There is a potential risk that IBM may not meet its ambitious target of training 1 million women and girls by the specified deadline.
  • The initiative could face challenges in maintaining the quality and relevance of training across diverse geographic and cultural contexts.
  • Financial implications of large-scale training programs may impact IBM’s resources and profitability if not managed effectively.

By Justina Nixon-Saintil | VP and Chief Impact Officer

NORTHAMPTON, MA / ACCESSWIRE / June 10, 2024 / In a world where technology is rapidly shaping the future, access to education and training programs is crucial to expanding opportunity. Recent research by UNESCO found that women make up only 35% of STEM graduates, and this number has not changed in the past 10 years. At the same time, women are more concerned about being replaced by AI than their male colleagues, according to an IBM IBV study.

This is why, in support of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework Upskilling Initiative, in 2022 IBM pledged to train 1 million women and girls in the Asia-Pacific region over five years. As announced by the U.S. Department of Commerce today in Singapore, I'm pleased to share that our progress towards this commitment has been remarkable. Nearly 650,000 women and girls have already been empowered through IBM's efforts to promote education, skill development, and career opportunities for women across the region.

Fostering partnerships for impact

At IBM, we know that partnerships are key to making a real difference in people's lives, and we take a holistic approach focused on providing education and training for everyone. From India to Japan, to Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines, among others, we're collaborating with organizations across the region to increase access to technology education via IBM SkillsBuild.

To cite just a few examples:

  • In Japan, we're collaborating with ReBit and empowering LGBTQ+ individuals facing employment bias through skill-building.
  • We're offering AI and cybersecurity education via our partnerships with Malaysia's Penang State Education Department and Indonesia's Ministry of Education.
  • In the Philippines, we're working with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority to provide cybersecurity training for trainers and trainees.
  • In India, we continue strengthening partnerships with organizations such as the Haryana State Board of Technical Education and various foundations and government bodies.

Stories of impact through IBM SkillsBuild

What inspires me most are the stories of individuals who have faced challenges and benefited from our work. People like Ashley Pojol from the Philippines, whose completion of the IBM SkillsBuild cybersecurity credential honed her problem-solving and critical thinking skills and piqued her interest in a career in cybersecurity.

In India, there's Shilpi Pachauri, whose journey from a technology-disconnected village to a successful web developer in Indore exemplifies the impact of IBM SkillsBuild in bridging the digital divide and empowering women from economically disadvantaged communities. Also in the country, Heena Aggarwal's story is one that shows resilience as she has worked to overcome financial constraints in pursuit of her dream of becoming an education entrepreneur with the help of IBM SkillsBuild.

Ashley, Shilpi, and Heena remind me why our work is so vital and illustrate the impact we can have when we build strategic partnerships and invest in education.

Empowering the next generation for global advancement

We're at a pivotal moment for inspiring and equipping the next generation around the world with the resources they need for careers in technology, which can offer a unique opportunity for social and economic advancement. IBM's pledge to empower women in the Asia-Pacific region is aligned with our commitment to create equitable impact through the expansion of opportunities for everyone. This pledge is also part of IBM's global commitment to skill 30 million people by 2030, with over 11.5 million trained learners so far.

As the journey continues, one thing remains clear: when women are given the opportunity to thrive, entire societies prosper.

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Spokesperson: IBM


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What is IBM's commitment to education in Asia-Pacific?

IBM has pledged to train 1 million women and girls in the Asia-Pacific region over five years.

How many women and girls has IBM trained in Asia-Pacific so far?

As of June 2024, IBM has trained nearly 650,000 women and girls in the region.

What is the focus of IBM's training programs in Asia-Pacific?

IBM focuses on education, skill development, and career opportunities, especially in AI and cybersecurity.

What are some examples of IBM's partnerships in Asia-Pacific?

IBM collaborates with organizations in Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and India for technology education.

What is IBM SkillsBuild?

IBM SkillsBuild is a program that provides education and training in technology and cybersecurity to empower individuals.

How does IBM’s initiative align with its global commitments?

IBM's pledge in Asia-Pacific is part of its global goal to skill 30 million people by 2030.

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