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This Aussie program is helping women reskill for new jobs through the coronavirus pandemic, with support from Google, Canva and Amazon Web Services

Sharon Masige
  • Diversity and Inclusion consultancy business The Dream Collective has launched a free online program called She Pivots to help women reskill and find new jobs during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Those who complete the program have the opportunity to apply for jobs at Google, Amazon Web Services, Canva and Datacom.
  • It comes after findings from the United Nations which found women and girls will feel the economic impact of the coronavirus more as they are "generally earning less, saving less and holding insecure jobs."
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

There's a new program helping women find work during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Dream Collective, a diversity and inclusion consultancy business, has launched a free online program called 'She Pivots' to help women affected by job losses during the coronavirus pandemic retrain and upskill to find new jobs.

The program covers topics like building resilience and a career pivot plan, identifying your strengths, building your professional network digitally and starting your job search. It also helps women build their growth and resilience mindset during this time.

Once women complete the program, they have the opportunity to apply for jobs at major companies such as Google, Amazon Web Services, Canva and Datacom.

The Dream Collective Founder and Managing Director Sarah Liu told Business Insider Australia when COVID-19 first hit, the company looked at how the virus was affecting the workforce.

"What we found was that, according to ABS data, women have been affected disproportionately," she said. "If you look at the unemployment, women are sitting at about 8.2% and men about 6.1%."

The United Nation's "The Impact of COVID-19 on Women" report also highlighted that the "compounded economic impacts" of the coronavirus "are felt especially by women and girls who are generally earning less, saving less and holding insecure jobs."

After seeing how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting women, The Dream Collective looked at what practical things it could do to support them.

Getting big name companies on board

She Pivots has received support from Indeed, LinkedIn and the Department of Industry, Science and Technology.

Liu said it was "pretty easy" to get Canva, Google, Amazon Web Services and Datacom on board, as The Dream Collective has worked with several of them for a number of years on diversity and inclusion content and other projects.

"We rallied together a lot of our clients and partners, who we know are still hiring at the time, and who are very active in getting women into the workforce because they're in technology," Liu said. "Getting women into their pipeline has always been a big driver for them. So we thought it would be great to marry these two ends of the market together."

There are a variety of jobs available at the end of the program, the majority of which are in the tech space but also across project management, sales and digital marketing. At AWS there are cloud-based development and software engineering roles – with a cloud-specific technical skills program at the company which can further help women – as well as product management, customer service and administration roles. At Canva there are positions in marketing and communications.

"What we are actually about is about training women up and placing them into roles, particularly with industries that they typically wouldn't consider – so building up the technology pipeline for women in STEM," Liu said. "With that really clear philosophy, ethos and objectives, it makes it very easy for the companies to sign up because they align with the program objectives and that's actually something that they want to achieve as well."

More than 900 people have signed up

As of last night, The Dream Collective reached 900 women signing up to She Pivots. Many of those are women from "high calibre" roles and women in the media and communications industry who have been displaced.

"We're really quite surprised at the...proportion of women that are in the most senior stage of their career," Lyndal Hamwood, Senior Marketing Manager at The Dream Collective told Business Insider Australia. "Probably the two largest segments in terms of seniority and professional work experience, are in that say 5 to 7 and 7 to 10 [year range]."

The program will be live "for a few months", with those who sign up able to finish it at their own pace.

As an immediate goal, The Dream Collective wants 10,000 women to sign up for the program. But it also wants to see women believe in themselves when they apply for a job. Liu explained that in the program, the company has seen women deselect themselves from certain jobs because they haven't worked in those roles before and don't think they can apply for a job in it.

It's a situation reinforced by the often mentioned statistic of men applying for a job if they meet 60% of the requirements, whereas women will go for a job if they meet all the criteria.

But ultimately, The Dream Collective wants to see more women in the tech industry and in the broader workforce.