Upskilling and Women’s Economic Empowerment

Companies should provide upskilling opportunities AND time to learn as tools to unlock women's economic empowerment.

Upskilling and Women’s Economic Empowerment

Women all over the world suffer from a lack of reskilling and upskilling opportunities in the workplace. Subsequently, women’s economic empowerment remains a key policy consideration for many developing nations in the 21st century.

An Open Letter to Women Around the World on International Women's Day | ESME
Image credit: Shutterstock.com

UN Women defines Women’s Economic Empowerment as “a women’s ability to participate equally in existing markets; their access to and control over productive resources, access to decent work, control over their own time, lives and bodies; and increased voice, agency and meaningful participation in economic decision-making at all levels from the household to international institutions.”

According to McKinsey’s Women in the Workplace 2020 Report, women are 18% less likely to be promoted than their male counterparts. In order to decrease that percentage and support women’s economic empowerment, companies should offer upskilling opportunities to their employees while keeping flexibility in mind. This is especially important for working moms and women without traditional education backgrounds. 

If businesses can make a concerted effort to deploy flexible upskilling opportunities across these key factors, women can continue to play a pivotal role in the workforce:  

1.     Time to Learn: Women should have the time to advance their careers through learning on the job, allowing them to balance their existing work obligations with their roles as full-time or primary child-care providers when necessary.

2.      Equitable Skills Assessment: Women should have the opportunity to benefit from an internal credentialing system that supports their career progress that they can utilize to solidify advancement. Women have demonstrated time and time again that they are more studious than their male counterparts and should be rewarded with meaningful opportunities for doing so. A credentialing service helps even the playing field for women employees.

3.      Skills Maps: It is no secret that women are under-skilled, both as women entrepreneurs and within the workplace. By offering a valuable credentialing service, women can take new skills with them to either new companies or when they launch their own new ventures. Expanding women’s entrepreneurship is a key policy consideration for the 21st century in addition to getting more women to the top of the leadership paradigm.

4.      Learning Network and Community: Learning with the ability to connect with fellow students is a great way to help women stay engaged and motivated in the workforce.

As a tool to advance women’s economic empowerment, Learn In supports all of these principles and values as part of our core offering. We offer a seamless and packaged solution for enterprise and mid-market companies to launch sophisticated reskilling and upskilling initiatives at a fraction of the cost compared to our competitors.

I am proud to say that I work for Learn In because we are at the forefront of building these important pathways for women’s economic empowerment. I am a backend software engineer, and I cannot emphasize enough that I have been treated based on the exact same principles that I support. In particular, Yael (Chief Operating Officer) and Eric (Chief Technology Officer) have been incredibly knowledgeable and supportive during my time at Learn In, helping me adjust to startup culture, which they make simple through one-on-one support and the flexible nature of our meeting schedule. Despite the two-hour time difference between me and my managers, Yael and Eric are always available around the clock to support my work.

As a female professional, this has been such a tremendous opportunity because my husband and I recently welcomed our son Marcellus (Mars for short) into the world last year at this time. Having a new, sweet little guy like Mars while working for my first startup company, and hopefully last, has been a challenging yet rewarding period of time in my life. Working at Learn In is rewarding because of the team’s motivation and drive to launch Learn In as quickly as possible and gain traction within the marketplace. Although often challenging because we do work long hours, it is something that I am quite happy to do.

All-around, Learn In has been a great start to my professional startup career and I could not be happier to be part of a company that supports women’s economic empowerment, an issue near and dear to my heart. For companies that are looking to support their workforce internally, please consider doing so with Learn In. We take extraordinary care in the development of our product, and as a company, we practice what we preach.

Written By: By Plamena Mineva-Scholz - Software Engineer @ Learn In