ICT initiative aims to empower working women

Connected Women intends help Filipino women access global work opportunities without having to leave home

Virtual assistant online platform, Connected Women Jobs partners with DICT and Facebook to provide digital literacy programs for women via the #SheMeansBusiness initiative.

Gina Romero, co-founder and CEO of Connected Women; Mon Ibrahim, DICT Undersecretary; Ruth Yu-Owen, co-founder and COO of Connected Women signing the MOA program for women to develop digital skills

With the growing number of women CEOs and entrepreneurs, it is evident that more women are inspired to reach their goals and follow their dreams. As recently launched by Facebook, #SheMeansBusiness is an online platform which aims to empower entrepreneurial women by having an avenue for them to make valuable connections, inspire others, and provide opportunities.

Women’s Empowerment-ICT Initiative

Connected Women Jobs signed the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Department of Communications and Technology (DICT) to provide a specialized program for women to develop digital skills. The modules for learning have been provided by Facebook through their #SheMeansBusiness initiative and will be rolled out across Tech4Ed centers nationwide.

Connected Women’s CEO and Co-Founder, Gina Romero, says that it is her personal mission to improve the
lives of women by creating awareness about location-independent work opportunities.

“Women have many options to work online now. Connected Women is here to help Filipino women access global work opportunities without having to leave home.”

In line with the celebration of National Women’s Month last March, Representatives of Connected Women, DICT, and Facebook gathered at the Discovery Suites Ortigas to announce their collaborative project. “DICT is very, very pleased to be partnering with Connected Women as well as with Facebook,” explains DICT Undersecretary Mon Ibrahim. “With this collaboration, we hope to make this our platform for making the roots of their initiative far, far greater. Reaching the farthest of the Philippines.”

Collaborative efforts

Ruth Yu-Owen, Connected Women’s Co-Founder and COO said, “Collaborating with partners like Facebook and DICT means we can reach women in all parts of the Philippines, from North to South. Gina and I are determined to make sure no woman is left behind.”

Key collaborations under WE-ICT include Connected Women Jobs, an online platform that matches women entrepreneurs to qualified Filipino women assistants; DICT’s Tech4ED is an e-learning platform that provides learning and skills development opportunities for digital inclusion; UN-APCICT’s WiFi (Women’s ICT Frontier Initiative) promotes ICT skills for women entrepreneurs in Asia and the Pacific; and of course,
#SheMeansBusiness that includes customized modules for training small to medium businesses.

Co-led by Connected Women and Bayan Academy, #SheMeansBusiness Philippines has trained more than 400 women through six workshops in the following key cities: Manila, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, and Legazpi, with at least seven more events planned through 2018.

WE-ICT’s future plans

Connected Women plans to expand its training content to include skills for online work in editorial, design, admin, finance, coding and marketing automation. It is especially focused on creating opportunities for women not in the workforce because of parenting or caregiving responsibilities.

John Henry Naga, Assistant Secretary and Chief of Staff to the OIC at the DICT, shared how DICT’s existing programs have changed the lives of women, allowing them to be financially independent and contribute to their families and society.

Clair Deevy, Director of Community Affairs, Facebook APAC emphasized that “Women entrepreneurs still face specific, persistent barriers—from cultural to legal, financial to self-confidence—to start and grow their business.” Deevy further explains that this is why they want to celebrate women and give them practical support and advice to turn their ideas into reality.

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