Hyderabad: At a time when the number of women in the technology industry is minimal, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is taking efforts to bring a change by enabling platforms that will help skilling and upskilling talent. AWS is scaling up efforts in India and worldwide both in terms of skilling and mentoring to create future technology leaders.
A recent AWS-commissioned report by AlphaBeta covering Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore and South Korea, found that the number of workers applying digital skills in Asia-Pacific (APAC) countries will increase by over five-fold to 819 million workers in 2025. And 5.7 billion digital skill training will be required to achieve this level of skill in APAC.
To bridge the tech skills gap, businesses must find new sources of talent. Women have been traditionally underrepresented in the technology industry, and companies need to develop platforms to empower women. These platforms will enable women to progress their careers in technology through engagement and upskilling.
AWS’ She Builds acts as a career development platform that helps women start, pivot, or advance their careers in the industry. Since its inception in 2019, She Builds has seen over 7,000 registrations in total. Last year, She Builds Day 2020 saw 1,765 registrations. There were 770 net new developers, 364 CloudU-registered developers, 18 She Builds Mentorship registrants, over 3,000 training hours in artificial intelligence and machine learning for She Builds DeepRacer League.
She Builds is making efforts towards upskilling, mentorship and sponsorship to create thought and technology leaders. AWS is also working towards providing business and entrepreneurship skills to women who are founding and leading startups and businesses in technology.
Anna Green, head, Independent Service Vendor (ISV) and Digitally Native Businesses (DNB), AWS in Asia Pacific and Japan, told Telangana Today, “She Builds programme not only intends to include gender diversity and inclusion at AWS which we are doing, but also address the skills gap for our customers who are looking for digital workers at all levels of the organisations. Data shows that women are underrepresented not only in the Asia Pacific region but also in other developed markets, not only at leadership positions but across positions in the technology industry.”
On skill focus, she added, “Career in technology need not be restricted to coding. Technology skills are just one part in finding a career in the industry. To serve the needs of the customers from a wide spectrum of industries, one needs to learn skills in sales and marketing, HR, analytics, business planning, strategy and operations. Enterprises acknowledge the need to upskill their staff and are ready to handhold in the learning process.”
India-focused studies show that the number of workers in India requiring digital skills will need to increase nine times by 2025, and the average worker will need to develop seven new digital skills by 2025 to keep pace with technology advancements and demand. A total of 3.9 billion digital skill trainings will be required by that period. And the digitally skilled workers currently represent 12 per cent of the workforce in the country.
When asked what are the barriers that are preventing women from entering the technology industry, she said, “There are structural and cultural challenges. There is also a perception of a steep learning curve in the technology industry, lack of visible women role models, and not knowing where to start in terms of exploring tech career pathways.”
She added, there is a need to mentor and nurture the next generation of women leaders. There is also a need to strengthen efforts in the industry to build capabilities in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) area in APAC, irrespective of gender. AWS is focusing on STEM as well as core technologies such as data modelling, software development, cloud architecture and cyber security.
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