Salesforce, the leading AI CRM company, has announced that it has gone above and beyond its initial commitment to provide 500,000 upskilling opportunities to women as part of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) Upskilling Initiative. Within the first year of the program, Salesforce has delivered over 3 million upskilling opportunities.
The IPEF initiative, launched by the U.S. Department of Commerce in September 2022, aims to empower women in the Indo-Pacific region by offering them access to digital skills training and education. This initiative plays a crucial role in achieving sustainable and inclusive economic growth. Salesforce has extended its upskilling opportunities across several countries, including India, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines.
According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), women only account for 25.1% of employment in IT and other information services in the Asia Pacific region. This statistic highlights the urgent need to bridge the gender skills gap.
Salesforce has partnered with governments, public sector organisations, and nonprofits in the region to provide these upskilling opportunities for women. These learning experiences are made available through Trailhead, Salesforce’s free online learning platform, as well as various workforce development programs, expert-led training events, self-paced e-learning courses, and certifications for jobs in the Salesforce ecosystem.
To ensure the success of these programs, Salesforce collaborates with government organisations, universities, and other learning institutes through its Trailhead Academy. This partnership aims to create a digitally skilled workforce that is equipped for the challenges of a rapidly evolving technological landscape.
Some of the notable program partnerships include:
- NASSCOM, which provides Salesforce training through the NASSCOM Future Skill Prime Portal.
- Collaboration with Giftabled, Skillible, and Pride Circle to empower individuals with disabilities, women returning to work, and LGBTQ communities.
- Integration partner Nokentech, which offers CRM training to provide equal access to digital skills for 100,000 students in both rural and urban areas.
- Indonesia’s Ministry of Communication and Informatics (KOMINFO), which provides CRM curriculum and training through the Digital Talent Scholarship Program.
- Ayala Foundation’s three-year partnership with Salesforce to train women in digital and CRM skills.
In addition to upskilling opportunities, Salesforce aims to create pathways to job opportunities within the Salesforce ecosystem. Through the Trailblazer community, women participating in these programs have the chance to learn Salesforce skills alongside peers and experts, while also connecting with various opportunities across the Salesforce ecosystem.
The success stories of women like Hiral Kanani and Sowthamini Subramanian serve as inspiring examples. Hiral, an associate professor with a master’s degree in computer science, completed the Salesforce Platform Developer I certification through the Skillable program. She now works as a technical instructor at Salesforce in India. Sowthamini, a software engineer who had to take a career break due to a medical emergency, got an opportunity to learn Salesforce Platform Developer skills through Skillable. This enabled her to find employment as a Software Engineer at Neer Info Solution.
William Sim, Vice President of Trailhead Academy, Asia-Pacific, Salesforce, emphasized the company’s commitment to bridging the gender skills gap in the Indo-Pacific region. He stated, “Salesforce believes that business is a platform for change and, as part of that effort, we are committed to bridging the gender skills gap in the Indo-Pacific region.” Sim added, “By delivering on — and exceeding — our commitment to provide half a million upskilling opportunities, we are demonstrating a tangible impact on the lives and careers of countless individuals in these communities, and helping to unlock the potential of digital economies in the region.”
U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Gina M. Raimondo expressed her enthusiasm for the progress made by private companies like Salesforce under the IPEF Upskilling Initiative. Raimondo looks forward to hearing about the actions taken by all private sector partners since the launch of this public-private partnership.
With its dedication to empowering women and bridging the gender skills gap, Salesforce continues to make significant strides in promoting inclusive economic growth and unlocking the potential of digital economies in the Indo-Pacific region.