Amid the swift transformation of the job landscape propelled by technological progressions, an overwhelming 87 per cent of female professionals in India are actively pursuing avenues for upskilling in technology-based programs, according to findings from the Emeritus Global Workplace Skills Study 2023.
This robust interest among women mirrors a trend aligning closely with men, where 88 per cent are engaged in similar upskilling pursuits. Notably, the study unveiled a fascinating divergence: women in C-Suite positions display a greater readiness to invest in their further education compared to their male counterparts.
Highlighting this commitment, female CXOs expressed a willingness to allocate an average of USD 10,000 (approximately Rs 8.45 lakh) for their educational advancement in the upcoming year, exceeding male CXOs by nearly USD 1,500 (roughly Rs 1.25 lakh). This inclination illustrates a distinct pattern where women are positioning themselves as frontrunners in the rapidly evolving, tech-centric industries.
Despite this zeal, global statistics from the World Economic Forum reveal that women occupy merely around 26 per cent of AI-related roles worldwide. Additionally, Skillsoft's 2022 Women in Tech report indicates that in many organisations, men outnumber women in leadership roles at ratios of two-to-one or more. Addressing this imbalance necessitates a concerted effort towards upskilling women in the tech sector.
Participants across various echelons, spanning junior management (34 per cent), middle management (27 per cent), senior management (21 per cent), and business owners (38 per cent), exhibited a strong willingness to invest in upskilling programs priced between USD 100 to 399 (approximately Rs 8,000 to 34,000) annually. Conversely, those in C-Suite positions (32 per cent) leaned towards higher-cost programs ranging from USD 10,000 to 50,000.
Motivations driving this fervour for upskilling among both genders, observed across hierarchical tiers, encompass amplified self-assurance, honing leadership competencies, ensuring job stability, and staying abreast of evolving industry knowledge.
Furthermore, the study illuminated a divergence in preferences: while the male workforce predominantly leans towards shorter programs (with a majority willing to invest two to three months), female professionals across various seniority levels exhibit a distinctive readiness to dedicate four to six months to upskilling endeavours.
Mohan Kannegal, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Emeritus, India and APAC, underscored, "These gender-based insights from the Emeritus Global Workplace Skills Study 2023 underscore the remarkable enthusiasm of female professionals in embracing upskilling opportunities."
He emphasised the evident aspiration among women to assume leadership roles in the tech-driven job market. The data underscores a strategic mindset, with women at different organisational tiers dedicating substantial time and resources to remain at the forefront of dynamic industries.