IBM to ready 200,000 Indian women for STEM careers


International Business Machines (IBM), will be tying up with the governments of Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, to train more than two lakh girl students in fields related to STEM—science, technology, engineering and math. As announced at the IBM India Skills Forum recently, similar training will soon be imparted to girl students in other states of the country too.

The initiative is aimed at increasing the participation of girls and women in jobs pertaining to STEM. The three-year programme will not only help build the trainees’ technical and self-actualisation skills, but also make women future-ready.

In the next three years, at least a million girls and their teachers will benefit from training in STEM skills. According to Ginni Rometty, IBM chairman, president and CEO, “We know that AI, just like other transformative technologies before it, will have a profound impact on jobs and the workplace. We need to work together to equip the workforce with a new generation of skills, so the benefits of AI and technology can be experienced by many, not just a few.”

IBM will ensure that training is facilitated for girls and women in government schools so that they are ready for jobs related to STEM. It will make a two-year advanced diploma programme in emerging technologies available in about a 100 industrial training institutes (ITI) in collaboration with the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship over a three-year period. IBM will also provide internship opportunities to deserving students lasting up to five months, to allow them experience of Cloud and artificial intelligence (AI).

Tying up with the Kendriya Vidyalaya schools network, IBM will go on lending support to math teachers across the country through its free AI-based website, Teacher Advisor With Watson. This instructional resource helps and guides teachers to deliver high-quality lessons, activities and strategies.

Another online resource, Teachers TryScience, will provide about four million teachers across the country with STEM-related lessons, teaching strategies, best practices and other resources developed over five years with the help of 55,000 trainers in India, from 12 states and speaking nine Indian languages.

In addition, IBM also runs the Atal Tinkering Labs initiative for the youth. About 4000 mentors and six lakh students will stand to gain from the AI-powered mentor platform. IBM has till now onboarded 2,500 mentors, including 300 IBMers, to this platform by collaborating with the national Mentor of Change mission.

Through these programmes, IBM aims to bridge the STEM skills gap and prepare the workforce for new-collar jobs.

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