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‘It’s More than a Training Programme. It’s a Movement’: How Supermums is Upskilling Women in the AI Era

Supermums meet up at Salesforce Tower London

Today, the demand for skilled professionals in artificial intelligence is higher than ever. According to new Slack research, AI use in the workplace accelerated 47% in the past quarter. As of January 2024, more than 1 in 4 (28%) UK desk workers reported having tried AI tools for work, compared with 1 in 5 by September 2023.

With generative AI creating new job opportunities as it transforms industries, this demand is only set to increase. According to IDC, the Salesforce ecosystem — fuelled by AI — could generate over $41B in economic benefits and create over 500K jobs in the UK by 2028.*

Globally, IDC reports that 50% of companies have already hired data engineers over the last 12 months, 43% have hired business analysts, and 41% have hired AI solution architects. When asked which AI roles businesses plan to hire in the next 12 months, top-ranked roles include data architects (50%), AI ethists (43%), AI solutions architects (41%) and machine learning engineers (39%).*

To make the most of the opportunities that AI presents, the UK needs innovative solutions to address its digital skills crisis. Crucially, these must be inclusive to unlock the talents of women and diverse groups.

Bridging the AI skills gap

As companies roll out their AI strategies, it’s crucial that upskilling and widening accessibility is top of mind. UNESCO has warned that the failure to close the gender gap is self-perpetuating, and risks us being left with an economic and technological system with a massive underrepresentation of women.

At Salesforce, equality is a core value, and we have developed partnerships with governments, public sector organisations, and nonprofits to provide upskilling opportunities to help address the AI skills gap.

These learning opportunities are 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. Trailhead can guide individuals with limited technical knowledge into Salesforce roles within six months and has expanded its content to include AI-specific skills training.

Supermums leading a charge

An organisation that showcases how women in particular can be empowered to thrive in new and emerging technology jobs is Supermums.

Supermums is a social enterprise which aims to democratise opportunities for women to enter the world of technology and Salesforce.

When its would-be founder Heather Black became an accidental Salesforce administrator for her non-profit, she enjoyed it so much she decided to upskill as a Salesforce Consultant, helping like-minded organisations to implement a CRM.

As a mother of two, Black began to think about how Salesforce enabled her to stay working, and how her career path could work for other parents. In 2016 she launched Supermums to bring a diverse range of women into tech.

For Black, Supermums is more than a training programme. It’s a movement empowering women to realise their full potential in tech.

“As demand for AI talent grows, our mission becomes even more vital,” said Black.

“With Supermums, we’re not just bridging the AI skills gap; we’re shaping a future where everyone thrives.”

Heather Black, Founder and ceo, supermums

By providing accredited courses and ongoing support, Supermums enables women from diverse backgrounds to pursue flexible, well-paid career opportunities in technology. It also serves as a bridge for women seeking to re-enter the workforce by offering tailored training programs and support networks. 

Supermums has now trained over 1,000 individuals and over 200 companies have used it to hire talent. Last year it launched its first AI course.

Supermums at Salesforce Tower London

Using AI for good

Once in employment, the programme graduates have thrived across different sectors. Ana-Maria Guzu, a Salesforce Administrator at NHS – Birmingham Children’s and Women’s Hospital Charity Trust, explained that “AI initially seemed like a mystery to me” but discovering Salesforce “was like finding a new world of endless possibilities. I dove into the Salesforce ecosystem, completed the admin course, and instantly saw its potential to make a positive impact. Wanting to use technology for good, I found my way to the NHS.”

“With each lesson, I’m not just learning about AI; I’m discovering how it will shape my journey of using tech for the greater good.”

Ana-Maria Guzu, supermums alumni, now a Salesforce Administrator at NHS – Birmingham Children’s and Women’s Hospital Charity Trust

Margaret Vining, Supermums alumni and now Salesforce Administrator at Agility Technologies Inc, is excited at how AI is changing the world of work.

“The impact of AI is like when people started working on PCs in the 1980s. It enabled a fundamentally different way of working. Some people resisted but now it’s everywhere. Today we need to get comfortable with this new wave of AI. It’s a tool, which makes people better at their jobs. In my role, tasks that would have taken weeks can now be done in minutes.”

 “AI truly enables limitless possibilities, and we are just starting to see the value it can bring, both in our personal and business lives.”

Margaret Vining, Supermums alumni and now Salesforce Administrator at Agility Technologies Inc.

AI can only be fully leveraged when people are skilled to effectively use the technology.  

Salesforce is committed to equitably equipping people with the tools to take on jobs that our digitally transforming economy demands, working hand in glove with forward-thinking organisations like Supermums, alongside our industry peers. When we work together with inclusion at the heart, everybody wins.

Learn more:

  • Learn about Einstein AI
  • For more on how Trailhead and the Trailblazer Community are fueling the Salesforce Economy, click here
  • Access Trailhead’s new AI learning here

*IDC Infographic, sponsored by Salesforce, Salesforce Economic Impact, doc #US51404923, December 2023


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