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Salesforce Delivers 3M Upskilling Opportunities for Women in Indo-Pacific, Helping Close the Gender Skills Gap

Salesforce is the first of 14 companies to meet its commitment of 500,000 opportunities offered as part of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) Upskilling Initiative 

SINGAPORE — November 17, 2023 Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), the #1 AI CRM, today announced it has surpassed its commitment to provide 500,000 upskilling opportunities to women as part of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) Upskilling Initiative, delivering over 3 million opportunities within its first year. 

The IPEF initiative, launched by the U.S. Department of Commerce in September 2022, aims to provide women in the Indo-Pacific region with access to digital skills training and education to help achieve sustainable and inclusive economic growth. Salesforce has offered upskilling opportunities across India, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and more.

According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), women in the Asia Pacific region account for only 25.1% of all employment in IT and other information services, emphasizing the need to bridge the gender skills gap. 

Salesforce developed partnerships with governments, public sector organizations, and nonprofits across the region to provide upskilling opportunities for women. These learning opportunities were delivered via Trailhead, Salesforce’s free online learning platform, and through various workforce development programs, expert-led training events, self-paced e-learning courses, and certifications for jobs in the Salesforce ecosystem. 

These programs are powered by Salesforce’s Trailhead Academy, which partners with government organizations, universities, and other institutes of learning to build a digitally-skilled workforce.

Program partnerships include:



  • Integration partner Nokentech, which provides CRM training to create equal access to digital skills for 100,000 students in rural and urban areas. 
  • Indonesia’s Ministry of Communication and Informatics (KOMINFO), which provides CRM curriculum and training for the Digital Talent Scholarship Program. 

The Philippines:

  • Ayala Foundation’s three-year partnership with Salesforce to train women in digital and CRM skills. 

Creating pathways to job opportunities through the Salesforce ecosystem 

Salesforce sets the foundation to help anyone flourish in a digital-first world by delivering the resources to learn, connect, and grow. Women participating in these upskilling opportunities have access to the Trailblazer community, which helps them learn Salesforce skills with peers and experts, and connects them to opportunities across the Salesforce ecosystem.

Women such as Hiral Kanani and Sowthamini Subramanian have benefited with career opportunities through the Salesforce ecosystem. 

  • Hiral Kanani was an associate professor with over 10 years of experience and holds a master’s degree in computer science. Hiral came across the Skillable program, where she completed the Salesforce Platform Developer I certification. She is now a technical instructor at Salesforce in India.
  • Sowthani Subramanian was early into her career as a software engineer when she had to take a career break due to a medical emergency. When she was ready to return to the workforce, Skillable provided an opportunity for her to learn Salesforce Platform Developer skills and resulted in her finding employment as a Software Engineer at Neer Info Solution.  

“Salesforce believes that business is a platform for change and, as part of that effort, we are committed to bridging the gender skills gap in the Indo-Pacific region. The benefits of technology must be accessible to all, and diverse voices and talents must be nurtured in the global workforce,” said William Sim, Vice President, Trailhead Academy, Asia-Pacific, Salesforce.  “By delivering on — and exceeding — our commitment to provide half a million upskilling opportunities, we are demonstrating a tangible impact on the lives and careers of countless individuals in these communities, and helping to unlock the potential of digital economies in the region.”

The benefits of technology must be accessible to all, and diverse voices and talents must be nurtured in the global workforce.

William Sim, Vice President, Trailhead Academy, Asia-Pacific, Salesforce

“I am thrilled to see the progress that private companies like Salesforce are making under the IPEF Upskilling Initiative to empower women and girls around the world, and I look forward to hearing about the actions that all the private sector partners are similarly taking since the launch of this public-private partnership,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo.

About Salesforce

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