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Empowering women through digital skills

Published on February 20, 2023

The empowerment of women from less privileged backgrounds has been a focus at the Tata group for long. Grassroots interventions, as part of the Tata Affirmative Action Programme, have delivered quantifiable and meaningful impact to beneficiaries across India and celebrated the talent that women can bring to economic growth and development – both at a personal and community level,

Digital technology is now transforming this approach and helping change more lives of India’s women than was possible before. At the forefront of this inclusive digital revolution, Tata companies got the opportunity to present some of their special programmes in making digital a tool for economic progress in a fast changing world.

UN Women had declared the theme for International Women’s Day, 2023 as DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality. The focus this year will be to honour “the women and girls who are championing the advancement of transformative technology and digital education.”

In line with this year’s theme, the TAAP Group Center organised a webinar where Tata companies presented their best practices in using digital skills training to promote gender equality and to ensure equal opportunities for women.

The unique and pathbreaking initiatives presented by these Tata companies showcased how enabling digital access for women through education and skilling, and supporting them in finding their vocation through entrepreneurship or employment can make a big difference.

Devang Pandya, Deputy Vice President & Lead – CSR & Ethics, Tata AIG General Insurance Co Ltd, presented his company’s best practices on the digital-led approach adopted in educational CSR projects that Tata AIG has rolled out in north-east India. These include supporting girl child education through scholarships in the North-East; free coaching for competitive exams for girl students from central government schools in Assam aided by laptops; empowering Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) among women in their rural entrepreneurship endeavours in Andhra Pradesh by providing smartphones and other assistance for their micro-enterprises; and delivering primary healthcare services to rural beneficiaries in Uttar Pradesh through telemedicine.

The team from Tata Consultancy Services presented two best practices. Srishti Gupta, Head – Youth Employment Program (YEP), spoke about upskilling India’s marginalised youth to help them find meaningful employment in the digital economy. The programme involves teaching, mentoring, coaching and placement and hybrid models of delivery through platforms such as Cisco NetAcad, Google Coursera and TCSiON. The YEP has so far trained over 156,000 women and placed 37,000 among them in various roles.

Biswajit Datta, Head of the Digital Entrepreneurship Programme at TCS, presented how the unique Bridge IT - Transforming Rural India by Empowering Women programme has been making a difference to the lives of those women who cannot access mainstream opportunities in this area.

This was the 389th EDGE webinar in the series that was successfully conducted by TBExG. The webinar saw participation through 236 access points, across 31 Tata companies and their subsidiaries with a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of over 90.

The webinar not only highlighted the high-impact work being done by these companies but also sensitised participants to the power of digital tools to deliver benefits to a much wider population at a faster pace and make a difference to more lives through technology.

For more details on the webinar, please click here for the recording on the EDGE Portal