Strong Demand Among Women to Upskill For The Digital Economy

She Loves Data and Milieu Insight joint survey results reflect that over 8 in 10 females are interested in taking courses to develop their professional skills

  • 3 in 10 women in Southeast Asia show interest to learn about AI, Data and Analytics
  • Nearly 8 in 10 of the region’s female employees prefer professional courses to be conducted online
  • She Loves Data’s New Digital certification program aims to support more women in gaining foundational digital knowledge as they make 2023 their year of learning

Singapore-headquartered She Loves Data (SLD), a global-not-for profit organization focused on creating fairer opportunity pools for women in the accelerating data economy, conducted a Southeast Asia consumer survey in collaboration with Milieu Insight to gather workforce insights on learning pathways. Survey results showed that 87% of women in the region are interested in taking courses to develop their professional skills. 44% of employees in Southeast Asia and more than half (57%) in Indonesia intend to make a career switch within the next 5 years.

Singapore female employees trailed behind the region average in terms of familiarity with digital marketing (5% vs 16% indicated ‘very familiar’). Entrepreneurship motivations were strongest among women aged 35 years and above in Thailand (48%) and the Philippines (43%) where almost half sought to upskill as they had plans to set up their own business. 

Latest UN data show that the world is critically off track to reach gender equality by 2030. With UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) underscoring the empowerment of women as an important development objective, SLD aims to address the gender gap by creating equal opportunities for women in their career development.

Jana Marle-Zizkova, Co-founder and volunteering CEO at She Loves Data said, “As businesses across all industries embrace digital transformation, corporations and employers struggle to fill roles across all digital skills domains. We hope to narrow the digital competence gap with the new SLDxDigital training so women get their fair share of digital economy opportunities.”

Starting in March 2023, She Loves Data launches its bespoke pilot digital skills training program SLDxDigital to provide reskilling pathways that will equip women with transferable skills in areas of Digital Innovation, Digital Analytics and Data-driven Digital Marketing. SLDxDigital is a certification training program spread over 3 modules, each module lasting 4 weeks. Classes will be delivered virtually on Saturdays to ensure career women can also participate. 

The curriculum is prepared and delivered by experienced industry professionals. Training materials are reviewed by the Advisory Board with Georges Mao from Meta as Board Chairman, David Dubois from INSEAD, and together with Jana Marie-Zizkova and Priyanka Dwivedi from She Loves Data. Upon successful completion of each module, participants are awarded a digital certificate.

Dr. Priyanka Dwivedi, Research Fellow affiliated to Anglia Ruskin University shares her thoughts as Program Advisor for SLDxDigital, “Communities such as She Loves Data create a safe space for learning and networking for women which has a profound bearing on their careers. Peer learning is recognized as one of the most potent means of impactful learning. Networking builds social capital that may translate into mentorship, referrals, and sponsorship opportunities in the future. In doing so, these communities hold great promise to facilitate the corporates’ diversity, equity, and inclusion objectives by increasing the representation of women in tech roles and building a talent pool of skilled women for promotions to senior roles.” 

Marle-Zizkova adds: “In the long run, She Loves Data aims to provide a supportive professional network to develop a solid pipeline of women leaders who are ready to enter the C-suites and board rooms. In response to the global talent shortage crisis and under-representation of women in many industries, we hope both the private and public sector can take an active role in supporting communities like She Loves Data as we seek to future-proof the workforce by training tech, digital and analytics skills.”

IT/ Computing/ Programming (33%) emerges as one of the top 3 professional courses that women in Southeast Asia are interested in taking. Data and digital analytics courses are also one of the top courses sought after by Singaporean women (38%). Nearly 8 in 10 of the region’s female employees prefer professional courses to be conducted online

Antarika SenPhD, Senior Researcher at Milieu Insight shares her views: “We’re currently facing a dynamic job market, reflected in our study where 25% and 17% of women in the region have changed occupations or industries respectively in the past year. Our research also reveals that among women in the region, the top motivators for enrolling in a professional course this year is are the desire to improve their job performance (59%), increase job prospects/employability (44%), and make the most of their free time (39%)” – this highlights the importance placed on personal and professional development. It’s interesting to also find out that 79% prefer online professional courses, which shows that it’s vital for organizations to provide accessible and supportive ecosystems to help women upskill and advance in their careers. Additionally, over 5 in 10 women in Singapore find industry-recognized qualifications as a key deciding factor, further emphasizing the need for organizations to provide viable pathways for women’s professional growth.”

She Loves Data encourages women who are interested in upskilling and organizations who are keen to partner with She Loves Data to seek more information on their website