Rebound, a series of programs specially designed to help women step into tech-related careers, or launch their own ventures centred on greater technology adoption, is kicking off this month in Malaysia.
Designed and delivered by TechSprint Academy (TechSprint), Malaysia’s first women only coding academy, and supported by The Asia Foundation, Rebound aims to help approximately 200 unemployed and underemployed Malaysian women discover new career and economic opportunities.
Women take career breaks for various reasons. The Covid-19 pandemic has also brought about many career challenges for women such as retrenchments and loss of income. Many call this “the pink recession” (https://bit.ly/33EXXcJ). Why? The sectors hit hardest by this recession are the hospitality, travel, education and retail where the bulk of the employees are women.
At the same time, with COVID-19 the world is also fast-tracking digital transformation in organisations (https://bit.ly/2FcVcWG). Opportunities exist in this industry. Due to the gender disparity in the technology industry, women in general are underrepresented in tech careers globally.
With the new norms of social distancing, work from home, greater childcare responsibilities, women also need greater flexibility in their working arrangements which is more available in the tech industry.
Taking all these factors into consideration, TechSprint through Rebound aims to provide Malaysian women a safe space to better understand themselves, chart new career paths and make a mindset shift to seize these new opportunities and explore options that are more tech related as well as start their own ventures.
“Having taken a career break myself, I understand the challenges involved in making a comeback and have designed Rebound to help and support other women in their own journeys. I started TechSprint Academy as part of my comeback after realising the gender inequality in the tech industry and seeing that women need additional support to step into these careers which can give them flexibility as they juggle multiple commitments. The Covid-19 Pandemic has also brought new challenges whereby the way we work is drastically changing and many women have lost their jobs-Rebound aims to help them make that transition” said Vani Mahadevan, Founder of TechSprint Academy (www.techsprint.academy).
“Women may not have the tech skills necessary for this coming wave of employment opportunities, so we designed Rebound to help these women to get back on their feet, explore new horizons, and return to the workforce stronger than ever before”, she added.
There are three levels/programs that will be offered for free or greatly subsidized under Rebound. These are:
- Reboot: Reboot is a 4-day program taking the participants on a journey of self-discovery. Reboot offers 2 tracks - a Career Track and an Entrepreneurship track. Reboot aims to help women build up the necessary skills and confidence to return to work or launch their own ventures in a more digital world. A post-program Action Plan and Mentoring are part of Reboot.
- Step-Up: Step-Up is a ‘next-level’ program offering more specific tech or related skills at a beginner’s level to help participants prepare for entry-level tech industry positions, or to use in their own ventures.Typically having a duration of 4 days, programs include Social Media Marketing and Communication, Building and Designing Websites, Data Analytic Basics and Branding and Graphic Design Basics. Internships are available post-program for some of these courses.
- Breakthrough: Breakthrough programs are designed to give women the opportunity to learn skill sets that will propel them into a mainstream career in the tech industry as a Junior Developer. Designed as a 15-week intense Full Stack Development Bootcamp offered in collaboration with CodeOp Spain, Breakthrough programs will give women the opportunity to fully seize opportunities in the tech industry.
Rebound is open to women across Malaysia who are 21-50, have taken a career break or been retrenched or never found any employment to date. Priority will be given to those from marginalised communities, single mothers from low-income socio-economic backgrounds, and non-professionals (ie, not doctors, lawyers, accountants).
All Rebound programs will be offered online due to the current global pandemic and to give opportunities for more women from all over Malaysia to join and participate. Rebound programs start on 19 October 2020 and will be led by a community of Trainers and Mentors who are industry practitioners. Programs will be hands-on and will be run on project based learning methodologies.
TechSprint invites women to join Rebound and discover their new superpowers and build a stronger support network and community of women in tech and business. TechSprint also invites other like-minded individuals and organisations to come forward and support the journey as Partners and Mentors.