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Programme to help women step into tech-related careers
Published on: Tuesday, October 13, 2020
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Programme to help women step into tech-related careers
Kota Kinabalu: Rebound, a series of free or subsidised programmes specially designed to help women step into tech-related careers, or launch their own ventures centred on greater technology adoption, is kicking off this month in Malaysia.

Designed and delivered by TechSprint Academy (TechSprint), Malaysia’s first women only coding academy, and supported by The Asia Foundation, Rebound aims to help approximately 200 unemployed and underemployed Malaysian women discover new career and economic opportunities.

TechSprint Academy founder Vani Mahadevan (pic) said women take career breaks for various reasons, and the Covid-19 pandemic has also brought about many career challenges for women such as retrenchments and loss of income. “Many call this ‘the pink recession’. Why? The sectors hit hardest by this recession are the hospitality, travel, education and retail where the bulk of the employees are women,” she said in a statement, Monday.

At the same time, she said, with Covid-19, the world is also fast-tracking digital transformation in organisations. “Opportunities exist in this industry. Due to the gender disparity in the technology industry, women in general are underrepresented in tech careers globally.

“With the new norms of social distancing, work from home, greater childcare responsibilities, women also need greater flexibility in their working arrangements which is more available in the tech industry.

Taking all these factors into consideration, TechSprint through Rebound aims to provide Malaysian women a safe space to better understand themselves, chart new career paths and make a mindset shift to seize these new opportunities and explore options that are more tech related as well as start their own ventures.

“Having taken a career break myself, I understand the challenges involved in making a comeback and have designed Rebound to help and support other women in their own journeys. “I started TechSprint Academy as part of my comeback after realising the gender inequality in the tech industry and seeing that women need additional support to step into these careers which can give them flexibility as they juggle multiple commitments,” she said. She added that women may not have the tech skills necessary for this coming wave of employment opportunities, so they designed Rebound to help these women to get back on their feet, explore new horizons, and return to the workforce stronger than ever before. There are three levels or programmes that will be offered for free or greatly subsidised under Rebound. The programmes are Reboot, Step-Up and Breakthrough.

Reboot is a four-day programme taking the participants on a journey of self-discovery, while Step-Up offers more specific tech or related skills at a beginner’s level to help participants prepare for entry-level tech industry positions, or to use their own ventures.

Typically having a duration of four days, programmes include Social Media Marketing and Communication, Building and Designing Websites, Data Analytic Basics and Branding and Graphic Design Basics. Internships are available post-programme for some of these courses.

The 15-week Breakthrough programmes are designed to give women the opportunity to learn skill sets that will propel them into a mainstream career in the tech industry as a Junior Developer. Rebound is open to women across Malaysia who are 21-50, have taken a career break or been retrenched or never found any employment to date. Priority will be given to those from marginalised communities, single mothers from low-income socio-economic backgrounds, and non-professionals.

All Rebound programmes will be offered online due to the current global pandemic and to give opportunities for more women from all over Malaysia to join and participate. Rebound programmes start on Oct 19, and will be led by a community of trainers and mentors who are industry practitioners. Programmes will be hands-on and will be run on project-based learning methodologies.


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