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LinkedIn, UN Women to create job opportunities, upskill women in India, APAC

LinkedIn, UN Women to create job opportunities, upskill women in India, APAC

The LINK Women Project will launch a pilot in Maharashtra to cultivate digital, soft, and employability skills of 2,000 women. 

UN Women and LinkedIn will leverage the networking platform and its institutional expertise to convene partners for supporting women’s economic empowerment UN Women and LinkedIn will leverage the networking platform and its institutional expertise to convene partners for supporting women’s economic empowerment

Professional network platform LinkedIn and the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality, UN Women, have partnered together to advance women’s economic empowerment in India and the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. The two entities will invest $500,000 in the three-year regional partnership. 

The LINK Women Project will launch a pilot in Maharashtra to cultivate digital, soft, and employability skills of 2,000 women, as well as present them with a range of career-building opportunities through job fairs, mentoring sessions and peer-to-peer networks, a joint statement said. Women will be digitally upskilled in order for them to have greater access to jobs, and to equip them to fully participate in the formal economy. 

The entities said that a disproportionate number of women lack basic access to the internet – 54.6 per cent of men have access to the internet, compared to 41.3 per cent of women, which is a gap of 32 per cent. They said that gender-responsive technology policymaking in the region is crucial. 

According to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the gender gap in Asia grew from 17 per cent to 24 per cent between 2013 and 2017. Women and girls do not have the same access to education or the type of education as boys and men have. This renders women with decreased digital skills, literacy, and eventually with less economic opportunities. On top of that, COVID-19 pandemic only widened this opportunity gap in the last two years. 

LinkedIn and UN Women said that they will work together to close this gap, and aim to help the region attain gender parity. The partnership will be guided by the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), that guide businesses on how to promote gender equality and women empowerment in the workplace, marketplace and community. 

Ashutosh Gupta, India Country Manager, LinkedIn, said, “As more businesses and professionals recognize the rewarding impact of gender-equal workplaces, we have the unique opportunity to help women become more employable and entrepreneurial in today’s digital era,” further adding that they aspire to create a more equitable and all-inclusive talent landscape by bringing women closer to right skills and resources. 

UN Women and LinkedIn will leverage the networking platform and its institutional expertise to convene partners for supporting women’s economic empowerment. They will hold joint advocacy campaigns and events. Key partners from their respective networks will also be convened through the platform. 

Susan Ferguson, Country Representative, UN Women India said, “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.” 

After the 15-month pilot is complete, UN Women and LinkedIn will incorporate the lessons to improve the programmes where necessary fewer and scale it up to other Asia-Pacific countries. 

The pilot project in India

The implementation period of the project will be from July 2022 to October 2023. It will be conducted in Mumbai, Greater Mumbai and Pune regions. 

Women who have completed their higher education and are ready to participate in the digital economy will be eligible. 

The project will provide skills for increased employability and self-employment, with a focus on digital skills. It will connect these women to industry and peers through e-platforms and industry visits. 

UN Women works closely with the Government of India, other UN agencies, civil society, women’s and youth organisations, media, the private sector, and influencers to realise women-led development in India.