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LinkedIn, UN Women join hands to create learning

Addressing gender-responsive technology policymaking in the Asia-Pacific region is crucial given that in Asia, 54.6% of men have access to the internet, compared to 41.3% of women. This represents a 32% gender gap.

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Kolkata: LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, on Wednesday announced a three-year partnership with UN Women, the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality, to advance women’s economic empowerment.

The project will launch with a $500,000 pilot in India to cultivate the digital, soft and employability skills of 2,000 women and present them with a range of career-building opportunities such as job fairs, mentoring sessions and peer to peer networks. This regional collaboration will digitally upskill women and girls to bring them closer to jobs and markets, thereby equipping them to fully participate in the formal economy.

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A disproportionate number of women lack basic access to the Internet. Addressing gender-responsive technology policymaking in the Asia-Pacific region is crucial given that in Asia, 54.6% of men have access to the internet, compared to 41.3% of women. This represents a 32% gender gap.

According to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), between 2013 and 2017, the gender gap in Asia grew from 17% to 24%. Women and girls often do not have the same access to education, or type of education, as men and boys do, which leaves them with decreased digital skills, literacy, and consequentially limited economic opportunities in an increasingly digital world. In fact, the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 has only widened this opportunity gap for women and girls in the past two years.

With this partnership, LinkedIn and UN Women will work together to close this gap, aiming to help the region and world achieve improved gender parity in the workforce.

The partnership will be guided by the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), a set of effective, actionable Principles that guide businesses on how to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace, marketplace and community.

“As more businesses and professionals recognize the propitious impact of gender-equal workplaces, we are at the crux of a unique opportunity to bridge the opportunity gap for women and help them become more employable and entrepreneurial in today’s dynamic times. We are delighted to partner with UN Women to jointly work towards improving female representation and professional diversity across the region’s workforce by investing in the upskilling and economic empowerment of women. By bringing women closer to the right skills and resources, we aspire to create a more equitable and all-inclusive talent landscape; one that would truly heed diverse professional journeys without bias and advocate for organisational cultures that make work ‘work’ for women,” said Ashutosh Gupta, India Country Manager, LinkedIn.

UN Women and LinkedIn will leverage the LinkedIn platform and institutional expertise to convene partners to support women’s economic empowerment. Together, they will hold joint advocacy campaigns and events, as well as convene key partners from their respective networks to achieve broadly equal opportunities and outcomes for women and men at workplace.

Additionally, UN Women will leverage its partnerships to offer young women with foot-in-the-door opportunities across industries, with a focus on operating the LinkedIn platform and building connections.

“Access to quality education is critical to decent employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for women and girls. The aim of the LINK Women project, in partnership with LinkedIn, is to create a cadre of women who will acquire new digital and employability skills, leading to better jobs. LINK Women – brings SDGs to the forefront, such as – Quality Education (SDG 4), Gender Equality (SDG 5) and Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8).” said Susan Ferguson, Country Representative, UN Women India.

After the 15-month pilot, UN Women and LinkedIn will incorporate lessons learned and evaluative feedback to improve the programmes where necessary and then scale it up to other Asia-Pacific countries with UN Women presence.

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