Home Tech Updates Huawei webinar highlights the importance of women in tech

Huawei webinar highlights the importance of women in tech

by Helen J. Wolf
0 comment

Coursera industry findings discussed as part of a webinar jointly hosted by Huawei and Reuters Events found that 6% more women attended tech courses this year than in 2021.

The event highlighted the importance of closing the digital divide and recognized that this means helping young people access training and education opportunities in STEM.

Huawei webinar highlights the importance of women in tech

Coursera’s insights found that women accounted for 29% of engineering course enrollment in 2022, compared to 23% in 2021.

In addition, the findings show that women are more likely than men to enroll in female instructor-led courses, 1.7 times more likely to enroll in a resilience course, 1.3 times more likely to enroll in human-computer interaction courses, and 1 .4 times more likely to receive user experience courses.

‘Addressing the Gender Gap: Inspiring Women in ICT’ was held on May 12, with executives saying the number of women in technical and leadership roles has grown, but the industry has yet to see a huge increase in the representation of women where percentages are concerned, because of the rapid growth of these jobs.

They also recognized that while the industry is implementing many initiatives to be more gender inclusive, the general labor market is failing to recognize the value and need for equal pay or a diverse workforce.

Leah Belsky, Coursera’s chief enterprise officer, moderated the webinar.

“COVID-19 is a major setback for women. It will take 125 years to close the gender gap,” says Belsky.

“38% of women in tech plan to quit their job in the next two years, and 50% will leave by age 35.

“That represents a huge financial and creative loss for businesses, industry, families, and communities.”

Further findings from Coursera found that the top five countries for enrollment include Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and the US.

Additionally, some of the top courses women took were computer programming, with 8.5 million, and data analytics and machine learning, 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 created scholarships to inspire more women and plans to launch a Spanish-language coding scholarship.

CEO and co-founder Alaina Percival says companies, industries, and governments should continue to build inclusive workplaces and think about how designing workplaces in this way will increase roles for women in the industry.

Percival also says it’s critical to continue efforts to equip young people with the skills they need to succeed as technology advances and to develop the processes so that women can be included in the technology sector.

“One of the most important things we have learned is that radical transformation is possible, and it is possible for all of us. Inclusion is not by desire but by design,” says Percival.

Afke Schaart, Huawei’s senior vice president of public affairs, emphasized the issue’s urgency, citing UNESCO figures showing that 75% of jobs will be STEM-related by 2050.

Companies such as Huawei are opening up more opportunities in this area by collaborating with organizations worldwide on multiple projects to provide digital skills training to young people interested in ICT.

Schaart said Huawei has rolled out several initiatives worldwide 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 empowering and inspiring more women to join the technology sector as we are a key partner in going digital in this region,” she said.

“The great thing is that we are committed to the initiatives, some of which have been around for a long time.

“We started the Seeds for the Future program in 2008, and it’s still growing.”

Isabelle Mauro, head of the communications and technology industry at the World Economic Forum, says women are still underrepresented in the “jobs of the future,” noting that most jobs that will shape our lives in the future are in the digital sector.

Mauro also notes that women comprise only 14% of the cloud computing workforce, 20% in engineering, and slightly more than in data and AI.

“We [are] still a long way from reaching the middle ground in any case,” says Mauro.

Mauro added that, amid significant digital transformation across industries, now is the time to give the younger generation the digital skills for any job.

“As the world becomes more digital, today more than ever, we need all aspects of the economy, all sectors of government, to come together to ensure that no one is left behind, especially women and [girls]’ added Maurice.

Recent findings also show that the global talent shortage is 38%, with the top ten hardest-to-fill jobs in the STEM sector.

There is also a global shortage of 200 million people with ICT skills, meaning the industry needs highly talented individuals to develop new ideas that drive further growth.

You may also like