Fitted for Work, She Works is excited to announce a significant partnership with Microsoft.
This partnership could not have come at a better time, as COVID-19 has drastically increased the need for workers to get their digital skills up to speed.
Women are under-represented in STEM, in 2019 women made up just 14% of the workforce and in technology, women represent just under a third of those in technical roles.
Through this new partnership, we will support women to join the workforce through upskilling and preparedness for technical and tech-enabled roles.
We aim to reach over 2000 women with this digital upskilling initiative!
Women coming through Fitted for Work services will now have access to content available through Microsoft and LinkedIn’s Global Skills Initiative, as well as training and career coaching, in order to prepare them for a more digital economy.
To create employment pathways for these tech skilled women, She Works will also proactively collaborate with Microsoft Australia and their business networks.
“This partnership is going to change the course of employment for so many women who have been disproportionately impacted by current worldwide events. We need a new way to navigate pathways into the STEM sector. Fitted for Work’s partnership with Microsoft provides both practical solutions and support to women to not only begin the journey, but reach their destination of sustainable employment. More importantly this partnership provides for a hopeful and economically secure future for women and their families.”
Donna de Zwart, Fitted for Work CEO
Prior to the pandemic, women were overrepresented in casual and part-time roles (68.7%) and were almost twice as likely to be underemployed. This increases the vulnerability to financial insecurity and unemployment during this current health and economic crisis. Disadvantage is also compounded by current social distancing restrictions, in which disproportionate caring responsibilities and rising reports of domestic violence further impact women’s economic security. Today’s workforce is being reshaped by the fast pace of digital evolution, and together, we recognise that the world of work has changed forever. Investment in digital infrastructure is happening at an exponential rate. This partnership with Microsoft will empower women with the technical skills to harness the wave of employment possibilities and secure stable employment.
Aligned with Microsoft’s research, our recruitment social enterprise, She Works has identified that as we recover from the global crisis of COVID there will be a stronger demand for digital/technical skills across almost every industry.
“We are incredibly excited to be supporting Australian women through Fitted For Work. So many jobs require digital literacy and productivity skills, particularly now as the Australian economy recovers from the impact of COVID19. Through this partnership, we aim to unlock new employment and economic opportunities for women and we look forward to supporting them on this journey.”
Beth Worrall, Microsoft Philanthropies
Digital upskilling and learning paths offered will cover a broad range of skills, from entry-level digital literacy to advanced product-based education for technical roles. This learning content has been made freely available through a collaboration between Microsoft and LinkedIn.
Roles such as Data Analyst, Digital Marketing Specialist, IT support, Customer Service Specialist, Software Developer, Graphic Designer and much more.
These courses provide opportunities for our clients—wherever they are starting from—to reskill and upskill for in-demand roles.
“We are pleased to be part of Microsoft’s skilling initiative by offering free learning paths to job seekers and help the workforce on the path to recovery. LinkedIn has also introduced new products such as #OpenToWork that help increase visibility for job seekers and Career Explorer an interactive tool to help people find jobs that match their skills.”
Matt Tindale, Country Manager, LinkedIn Australia & New Zealand.
A Participant Case Study
In October Fitted for Work ran a Pilot Program of Microsoft’s Digital Upskilling Learning.
“Most jobs now expect you to have computer skills” participant Katherine* says, but as reported by the program group barriers to upskilling are all too common.
Many expressed that cost, time and not knowing where to start when it comes to digital upskilling had stopped them from improving their computer literacy in the past. Delivered free and on-demand through LinkedIn Learning this pilot program made computer literacy more readily accessible.
At the beginning of the program, participants reported feeling under confidence in their general computer skills and expressed a collective desire to improve their knowledge and learn more about Office 365 Applications. Fitted for Work provided a safe and supportive space for these women to learn. With Weekly Group Video Catchups participants connected on their journey, sharing, discussing and asking questions as they completed the Learning Pathways and gain new skills.
Katherine was impressed by the amount of content the course covered and was surprised by how much she was able to learn. Although Katherine had worried it would be too difficult, the flexible program style fitted in with her commitments and she found it much more approachable than she had expected.
“I work voluntary 2 days per week, and I am a full time single busy mum” Katherine said, “so online learning for me was good, as I could go at my own pace”.
Since starting the learning, there has already been a positive increase on the group’s digital confidence, women have enhanced their computer knowledge and connected with other women through interactive group video catchups.
Katherine knows the importance of having quality computer skills and how much it is valued in the workplace. Enhancing her abilities in this area has had a positive impact on her employment journey and Katherine says, “I have gained new skills and expanded my job prospects!”
Our goal of reaching over 2000 women with these digital upskilling opportunities includes working with businesses to create employment pathways for women equipped with the IT skills needed to thrive in employment.
If you are an employer wanting to know more about this partnership and how She Works can connect you with candidates with the right skills for your business click here: https://fittedforwork.org/she-works-microsoft-partnership/
To find out more about Microsoft’s Global Skills Initiative click here https://www.microsoft.com/en-au/digital-skills/job-seekers