Across Europe, only 22 percent of all technology roles are filled by women. Moreover, those that are growing the fastest have the lowest share of women, according to recent research from McKinsey & Company. However, if 3.9 million more women joined the sector by 2027 – doubling the share of the current workforce to 45 percent – Europe’s gross domestic product could increase between €260 billion and €600 billion.
The data is clear: the European technology industry needs more diverse talent. Learning the necessary skills for the ever-changing, specialised technology workforce is easier said than done, especially for communities already underrepresented in the sector. To help make the industry inclusive for all, Oracle spearheads several initiatives to change the status quo.
In 2017, several divisions within Oracle, including Oracle Women’s Leadership (OWL) and Oracle Academy, teamed up with Universidad Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona to create Oracle4Girls (O4G). The programme seeks to inspire girls in Spain between the ages of four and 16 to study – and enjoy – science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
Each month, O4G hosts workshops on subjects ranging from robotics, programming and 3D printing to machine learning, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and more in cities including Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Málaga and Bilbao. Organisers also put on workshops for parents on technology topics to help them foster their daughters’ curiosity and understand the sector’s future opportunities.
These fun and creative experiences are aimed at awakening girls’ interest in pursuing careers in technology and countering the 18% decrease in girls who study STEM during the transition from primary and secondary education to university. So far, more than 1,880 Spanish students have participated in O4G workshops. Going forward, Oracle hopes to bring its programming to even more locations across the country.
Among the many consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic was increased unemployment, which disproportionately affected women: three times as many women as men lost their jobs. Determined to help reduce the unemployment rate in Spain, OWL investigated the labour market, identified four technical roles currently in high demand and created Reinventa-Tech, a free, innovative training programme designed to fill them.
In partnership with Oracle University, the six-month professional development programme enables unemployed women in Spain to reskill and earn certifications in data analysis/data science, Java development, digital marketing, and database and cloud operation. Participants must be fluent in English, have a university degree, have a minimum of five years of work experience and have no previous experience in the technology field.
Reinventa-Tech assigns each participant a mentor from within the Oracle community in Spain to support them as they transition into the sector. Currently, more than 65 Oracle volunteers from all areas of the company are engaged in the programme.
The initiative launched in 2020 with a cohort of 20 women, and a second cohort of 40 women is in progress. In the words of a past participant:
‘The training I received through Reinventa-Tech allowed me to gain some highly in demand skills,’ said Laura Alonso. ‘Now I have a permanent position in a good company, a job that I love, and a future in a blooming industry.’
Oracle focuses not only on building skills for the technology industry at large but also on hiring new, diverse talent internally. Generation Oracle (GenO) EMEA identifies and advances early-in-career and returning staff, with participants coming from all kinds of backgrounds, including those changing careers, veterans and neurodiverse talent. What they all have in common is potential.
For 12 months, a cohort of 500 Oracle employees from across Europe and the wider EMEA region explore, train and grow their skills in sales, solution engineers or consulting, with an emphasis on collaboration, creativity and curiosity. GenO is not an internship or a graduate programme but rather a full-time career opportunity with dedicated periods for learning as well as contributing. With this balance, it offers continuous development and opens the door to participants’ futures in the technology industry. The results speak for themselves:
‘During the training I was always encouraged to be myself and combine my life skills and character with my professional role,’ according to Larisa Ciobanasu, GenO participant and Dublin-based account cloud engineer at Oracle. ‘The programme gave us an opportunity to meet different people from other departments to understand better what our path will look like.’
Oracle knows talent can be – and is – found everywhere. With O4G, Reinventa-Tech, GenO and other inclusive initiatives, Oracle is supporting a more diverse in-house team and technology industry.
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Skills training and DEI
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