IBM announced significant collaborations across India that will advance the skills and careers of more than 200,000 (2 lakh) female students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields.
The collaborations begin today with the signing of agreements with three state governments—Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh—and are planned to widen to several other states in the next few months.
The demand for a highly qualified workforce in India is quickly increasing with the acceleration of emerging technologies like Cloud and AI. Each collaboration between IBM and Indian state governments is part of a three-year programme to increase the participation of girls and women in STEM careers.
They feature a comprehensive approach that builds technical capabilities as well as life and self-actualization skills. The programme will equip women with the skills of the future to help drive the economy of the next decade.
The new programme is one of several initiatives announced at the IBM India Skills Forum hosted in New Delhi today. Together, these efforts have the potential to improve the skills and careers of more than 1 million female students and provide education resources to more than 4 million teachers over three years.
“Partnering with the Indian government, we are investing in the empowerment of millions of young women and their teachers with training in STEM skills, so that India’s growing economy has the right resources and more women in the workforce,” said Ginni Rometty, IBM chairman, president and CEO, speaking at the India Skills Forum. “We know that AI, like other transformative technologies before it, will have a profound impact on jobs and the workplace. We need to work together to equip the workforce with a new generation of skills, so the benefits of AI and technology can be experienced by the many, not just a few.”
The need to provide the right learning opportunities was also confirmed by Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog, the National Institution for Transforming India.
“There is an impending need for collaboration between government, industry and academia to bridge the skills gap in the workforce,” he said. “Although India has made rapid strides to address this in the past five years, IBM, as a role model for this industry, is setting a standard with its commitment to upskilling programmes. By engaging with the government and academia, IBM is equipping India’s women with the right skills for jobs of the future, keeping in mind the diverse nature of the country. I hope that we continue to see players from other organisations in the industry invest in the future of India and assist with bettering our skills as we continue to compete globally.”