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Smart – Connected Women partnership: Fast-tracking digital fluency in new normal

Photo shows (1st row) Deborah N. Tan, FVP for PLDT-Smart Enterprise Risk Management; Jane J. Basas, SVP and head of Consumer Business - Wireless at Smart; Mary Rose L. Dela Paz, Chief Procurement Officer at PLDT-Smart; (2nd row) Gina Romero, CEO & Co-Founder of Connected Women; Ruth Yu-Owen, Co-Founder of Connected Women; Miriam Z. Choa, FVP for Smart Prepaid Marketing; Cathy Yap-Yang, FVP for PLDT-Smart Corporate Communications

PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) has partnered with social impact start-up Connected Women for technology upskilling and livelihood opportunities for Filipino women across the country.

With the goal of training over a thousand women by 2021, Connected Women’s Elevate AIDA (Artificial Intelligence Data Annotation) program offers online skills development and remote work opportunities in the artificial intelligence industry. Backed by UN Women, the 75,000 member-strong organization launched ConnectedWomen.ai to provide a talent pool for businesses worldwide while creating an impact for Filipino women and their families.

Smart will support Connected Women’s upskilling initiatives that include data labeling, remote work, professional communication, and computer skills, which are all scalable in the digital remote workspace. Participants will also benefit from career coaching, developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills and mentoring.

After the online classroom course and on-the-job training, Connected Women facilitates job matching and placement on projects with a variety of global clients. Connected Women Founder Gina Romero explained that the rapid growth of the online job market is creating more opportunities for women, which is why many of Connected Women’s programs focus on digital upskilling and digital marketing. Artificial Intelligence Data Labelling market is expected to hit USD 1.6 billion by 2025 and has created jobs that need humans to perform tagging, classification, moderation and image processing tasks for AI.

Collaborative partnerships are imperative to the success of our programs and scaling our impact. With our aligned vision to connect more Filipinos to opportunities in the Future of Work, Connected Women is delighted to partner with Smart on this initiative – ensuring no woman is left behind,” says Gina Romero, CEO and Co-Founder of Connected Women.

Smart’s partnership with Connected Women underscores our commitment to empower Filipinos through technology that can unlock and share their infinite potential,” says Deborah N. Tan, FVP of Enterprise Risk Management at Smart.

Digital literacy and inclusive technologies are important to support livelihood in the new normal, and Smart has been put in a unique position to help address the evolving needs of our customers – in this case, vulnerable women,” says Jane J. Basas, SVP and Head of Consumer Business – Wireless at Smart.

Apart from Smart, Connected Women’s other key partners include the Department of Information and Communications (DICT) and Facebook, for a nationwide digital marketing training program for women. The organization has also collaborated with the United Nations Development Program for projects in Mindanao.

Smart’s partnership with Connected Women is aligned with the commitment of its parent company, the country’s largest integrated telco PLDT, to support the 17 Sustainable Goals of the United Nations, particularly in promoting decent work and economic growth, as well as upholding gender equality.

A smart, connected woman is ready for the opportunities that technology brings — and has the courage to pursue them. With this #SmartConnectedWomen partnership, we look forward to working together to reach women from all over the Philippines to make sure they have access to the upskilling and connectivity they need to be part of the future of work,” said Romero.