Our digital economy is facing two major challenges nowadays: tech talent shortage and gender imbalance in the digital industry. Despite the surfeit of jobs that require digital skills, women remain underrepresented in STEM roles, the lifeblood of the digital economy. According to recent studies, women only account for 25% of the STEM workforce, (WEF - The reskilling revolution, 2020).
One of the SDGs that PN promotes is the SDG 5: to achieve gender equality and empower women and girls. As we provide vocational training in the IT field blended with soft skills training to underprivileged students from Southeast Asia, we ensure that our students are composed of at least 50% girls. PN is aware that tackling the issue of gender inequality in the digital sector requires a multi-dimensional approach. Barriers at different stages of women’s path to employability: unequal access to education, gender stereotypes and social norms, discriminatory practices in the workplace exist and we aim to address it.
Hence, PN’s programs are gender-sensitive by design, addressing the problem in two ways:
- Embedding gender equity in every component of our TVET program: student selection, soft and hard skills training, career orientation, and job placement
- Forging collaborations with local networks of partners to further promote and support gender equity (educational institutions, corporations, alumni) ensuring systemic change takes place.
Currently 232 girls out of 423 students (%) are enrolled in our programs.
- Philippines: 83 girls out of the 144 students
- Vietnam: 71 girls out of the 131 students
- Cambodia: 78 girls out of 148 students
In 2021, 117 girls (59%) are expected to graduate and enter the labour market.
- Philippines: 93 girls from Class 2020A, Class 2020B and Class 2021 are expected to finish the 2.5 year training by December 2021
- Vietnam: 24 girls from Class 2021 are expected to graduate in October 2021
- Cambodia: 39 girls of class 2021 are expected to graduate in May 2022 (no expected graduation in 2021 due to some delays caused by pandemic)
Despite facing many challenges, adjustments and delays caused by the pandemic, our centers have managed to continue their operations. Because of covid-19 still affecting our traditional implementation strategy, our training approach has been switched to online /remote training since last year, adapting our pedagogical tools, infrastructures and approach to online setting as well. Presently, more than a year after the onset of the pandemic, our centers and support offices are still fully operational. Our staff have adapted to the set-up of partly working from home and partly reporting to the office, depending on the situation in each country. Our students as well have continued their studies through online set-up.
PN is committed and determined to continue with our mission of ending the cycle of poverty through provision of IT education to our students, composed of 50% women, regardless of the difficulties we are facing now and we will face in the future. Our mission is realised through the support of our various external partners -- organisations, corporations, alumni, and individual donors. Through continued collaborations, underserved women are given equal chances to thrive in the digital-related industry.
Below is a testimony from :
Quency, Class 2021, PN Philippines
“My name is Quency from class 2021, originally from Calbayog City, Samar. I am extremely grateful to PN for being one of their scholars.
I believe that ambition is the path to success. My primary ambition is to get a decent job that will secure my future and provide me and my family with financial support. I also want to be a successful entrepreneur because I want the opportunity to run a business I am passionate about. PN has given me access to an amazing education that provides great opportunities for learning and growth which I believe will help in achieving my ambitions. The scholarship offered by PN has opened a door and the prospect of a brighter future and plays a key role in shaping me into a successful person in the future. Their generous support will see me achieve my dreams”.