Webinar Summary: Women in tech – Reskill best practices


The workplace is changing and this transformation has accelerated in the last few years. Obviously Covid has had a clear impact on changes in the way we work, but the transformation in the world of work started earlier and is driven by the digitalization of our economy.  The types of jobs are changing, the need for new skills is pressing.

We estimate that in 2025, 85 million jobs will disappear while at the same time 97 million new jobs will be created (WEF Report 2020). So there is no need to be afraid, that’s actually good news! (we just need to prepare and make sure our workforce continuously has the skills they need to stay ahead of the curve).

Now, how do we ensure that companies find and continually adapt the skills they need to stay competitive and continue to innovate?

Elevation has been working with global companies and organisations for over seven years to develop innovative solutions and help them meet the challenge of their talent shortage.

Upskilling and reskilling programs for existing employees as well as Train-to-Hire programs to give new talent the specific skills companies need are for instance some of the pragmatic and efficient solutions that Elevation successfully implements.

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Solving what matters…

Reskilling programs can also have a strong impact on diversity within the company. And it is specifically the topic we had the pleasure to discuss with Deborah Ben Nun, Head of Tech L&D at Zalando. 

, Europe’s leading e-commerce company, has set itself the goal of having 40% women employees in Tech positions. A great challenge! To achieve that, the company has implemented a very ambitious reskilling program for women employees that consisted in training women to become software engineers.

Let’s highlight here some very instructive learnings and recommendations Deborah shared with us in our webinar:

Set a clear vision on the achievements you want to reach

In this case, mainly 3: 

  • offer opportunities for personal growth
  • increase the share of women in tech 
  • close the skills gap

Define strong KPIs to measure the success of this program

Zalando chose to set KPIs around the quantity of “hirable” talent, internal mobility, the cost of hiring and finally the untapped potential to assess the success of this program.

Identify the strategy and framework

Deborah Ben-Nun highlights “When you want to solve a social issue, find the business model that will support and complement your goals to ensure 360 support for your program”

Get the involvement of all relevant stakeholders

Such a project requires the commitment of a large number of players from different units within the company. In this case, Talent Acquisition, D&I, legal department, works council, senior leadership, hiring managers, etc. have been involved. It’s necessary to work as a cross functional team and align everyone on the same vision.

Allocate the necessary resources

It is important to make sure you have enough internal resources for the entire process from A to Z, from the launch of the training program to the onboarding of employees in their new roles. And especially ensure that you can dedicate a proper project manager who can coordinate everything.
If you do not have these resources internally, get support from an Academy as a Service to take the burden off your shoulders.
The big news (L&D and HR Leaders read carefully!): The program has been financially supported by D&I Budgets.

This reskilling program served different KPIs both on the HR/Business side (costs of hiring, time to hire, retention) but also D&I goals (40% women in tech positions) and hence was financed by these budgets. 

The program is still in progress and already has a very positive impact. Deborah summarised with a clear, inspiring  message “We may not be able to change the world but even small initiatives have a place in a global company and can help shape the path for bigger initiatives.”

To see the full webinar click here

If your organisation needs to solve the talent shortage and consider an academy in-house, please reach out to us. We have expertise.y present off hand.

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