Upskilling Is the Answer to Closing Tech's Gender Gap
As the world looks for ways to get more women interested in studying STEM, India’s young women act as a shining example to follow. In India, a country now widely recognized as the new Silicon Valley for technology investments, research, and development, more than 45% of STEM graduates are female. But while there is a large pool of talent in India, the career pipeline is leakier than it should be—in fact, 50% of women fall out of the workforce within eight years of university graduation and never return.
This missed opportunity struck VMware’s Duncan Hewett after he spoke with 250 women at a technology session in 2018 It became the catalyst for VMinclusion Taara—a free, self-paced training program to get female tech graduates in India back into the IT sector. Two years and almost 13,000 women enrolled, VMware’s Taara upskilling program has helped more than 2,000 women rejoin the workforce. It has become one of the most effective return-to-work programs in the country and has put a spotlight on providing women with the skills, confidence, and support to return to the IT sector in India.
VMware’s 2030 Agenda sets specific diversity, equity, and inclusion goals that are embedded in the way we do business. Taara is just one way we live out these goals. Studying the career journeys of just some of the Taara graduates, we’re able to uncover the many reasons that take Indian women out of the IT workforce, the barriers to re-entry they face, and how those barriers can be overcome to add their valuable skills back into India’s vibrant tech sector.