Industry findings by Coursera discussed in a webinar co-hosted by Huawei and Reuters Events revealed that 6% more women were enrolled in tech courses this year than in 2021.
The event highlighted the importance of bridging the digital divide, recognizing that this means helping young people access STEM training and education opportunities.
Information from Coursera revealed that women made up 29% of tech course enrollment in 2022, up from 23% in 2021.
Additionally, the results indicate that women are more likely than men to enroll in courses led by female instructors, 1.7 times more likely to enroll in a resilience course, 1.3 times more likely to take human-computer interaction courses and 1.4 times more likely to take user experience courses.
‘Addressing the Gender Gap: Inspiring Women in ICT’ held on May 12, with executives in attendance saying the number of women in tech and leadership roles has increased, but the industry has yet to see a huge increase in female representation where percentages are concerned, due to the rapid growth of these jobs.
They also recognized that while the industry is implementing many initiatives aimed at being more gender inclusive, the general labor market is not noticing the value and need for equal pay or an equal workforce. diverse work.
Leah Belsky, General Manager of Coursera, moderated the webinar.
“COVID-19 has been a major setback for women. It will take 125 years to close the gender gap,” Belsky says.
“38% of women in tech plan to leave their jobs in the next two years, and 50% will do so by the age of 35.
“This represents a huge financial and creative loss for businesses, for the industry, but also for families and communities.”
Other findings from Coursera revealed that the top five registration countries are Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and the United States.
Additionally, some of the top courses women enrolled in were computer programming with 8.5 million, data analysis and machine learning, both with 7.4 million.
Founded in 2011 and based in the United States, Women Who Code is a non-profit organization with 290,000 members worldwide.
The organization has set up scholarships to help inspire more women and intends to launch a Spanish Coding Scholarship.
CEO and co-founder Alaina Percival says businesses, industries and governments should continue to create inclusive workplaces and think about how designing workplaces in this way will increase the roles of women across the board. industry.
Percival also says that it is crucial to continue efforts to teach young people the skills they need to succeed as technology continues to advance, as well as to develop the processes for women to be included in the technology sector. .
“One of the main things we have learned is that radical transformation is possible and it is possible for all of us. Inclusion is not by desire, it is by design. said Percival.
Huawei’s senior vice president of public affairs, Afke Schaart, underscored the urgency of the issue, referring to UNESCO figures showing that 75% of jobs are expected to be STEM-related by 2050.
Companies such as Huawei are providing greater opportunities in this area by working with a range of organizations globally on various projects to provide digital skills training to young people interested in ICT.
Schaart said Huawei has launched a number of initiatives globally to nurture young talent in the digital sector, such as Seeds for the Future, ICT Academy and the Global ICT Contest.
“We see ourselves playing an important role in enabling and inspiring more women to join the tech sector, as we are an important partner in going digital in this region,” she said.
“The good thing is that we are committed to the initiatives, some of which have been around for a long time.
“We launched the Seeds for the Future program in 2008 and it continues to grow.”
Isabelle Mauro, information director for the communications and technology industries at the World Economic Forum, says women are still underrepresented in the “jobs of the future”, noting that most of the jobs that will shape our lives in the future are in the digital sector.
Mauro also notes that women only make up about 14% of the cloud computing workforce, 20% in engineering, and slightly more than that in data and AI.
“We [are] still very far from reaching at least common ground,” says Mauro.
Mauro adds that in the midst of a significant digital transformation in various sectors, now is the time to give the younger generation the digital skills for any job.
“As the world becomes increasingly digital, now more than ever, we really need all aspects of the economy, all sectors of government, to come together to really make sure no one is left behind, especially women and [girls]adds Mauro.
Recent findings also show that the global talent shortage currently stands at 38%, with the ten most difficult jobs to fill in the STEM sector.
There is also a shortage of 200 million people worldwide of workers with ICT skills, which means that the industry needs very talented people who will bring new ideas that will drive new growth.