Women in Tech Face Being ‘Left Behind’ Because of Skills and Training Gap

06/06/2024
Sai Bendi, Encompass Corporation

WOMEN working in technology face being ‘left behind’ as approaches to skills development across the workforce are ‘not fit for purpose’, according to a new report.

With The World Economic Forum predicting that as many as one billion jobs will be transformed by technology over the next decade, research from social enterprise Code First Girls and Tech Talent Charter has outlined the need for upskilling and reskilling across areas including AI as solutions advance. 

‘Building Tomorrow’s Workforce: Inclusive Skills Development in the Age of AI’ calls on technology leaders to prioritise professional development programmes to ensure women are empowered, confident and have the tools they need to learn and grow.

Outlining ten key recommendations, the report focuses on the need for organisations to invest in skills mapping, reshaping recruitment and establishing ethical guidelines and policies for AI in order for staff to develop in line with the environment around them. By best equipping those in industry, it will also ultimately help to address the long-standing gender gap.  

Although emerging technologies are often a catalyst for positive change, there remains a need for education and assistance when it comes to how to utilise these, as highlighted by a survey conducted by Code First Girls, which found that 41% of women are worried that AI could replace their current roles, with 30% stating their company doesn’t provide opportunities for further development in light of the evolving landscape.

Commenting, Sai Bendi, Software Development Manager for Encompass Corporation,said“The gender gap that exists across the technology sector is an issue that continues to be a key talking point, with the imperative on businesses to attract and support female talent to prosper.

“While the acceleration of new technologies, such as Generative AI, has the potential to act as a driver for significant transformation across industries, in order for individuals to progress, it is important that employers focus on providing the learning and development support needed to be able to keep up with change and feel confident to best utilise the solutions at play.

“With so much to offer, women have a critical role to play at the heart of the advancement of the innovation that powers business success and the economy. It is by feeling valued and supported in all aspects of their own growth that they will truly be in a position to embrace their skills in the era of transformation.”

Karen Blake, co-CEO of Tech Talent Charter, added: “In the ever-changing landscape of technology, it is crucial to create inclusive skills programmes for the future. This goes beyond just a strategic plan, it reflects our commitment to fairness and progress. By embracing diversity, we can unlock the full potential of emerging technologies and create a future where everyone, regardless of their background, can thrive and make meaningful contributions.

“We need to be intentional in our approach to upskilling and reskilling, and create an environment that supports lifelong learning, values different skill sets, and encourages individual differences. When we develop inclusive skills programs, we are not just closing gaps, we are paving the way for progress and prosperity.” 

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