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

Monday, 10 June 2024 09:45 AM


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.

View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from IBM on

Contact Info:
Spokesperson: IBM
Email: [email protected]


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