AboitizPower, through its coal business unit Therma Visayas, Inc. (TVI), will sponsor a series of Connected Women workshops on future-proofing the skills of women in disadvantaged communities.
Staying true to its mission of creating sustainable communities and in celebration of Women’s Month, AboitizPower has partnered with Connected Women to train 60 women from Toledo City in Cebu on artificial intelligence data annotation and other important computer skills to get them ready for the future of work.
This initiative is part of the Elevate AIDA (Artificial Intelligence Data Annotation) program that Connected Women runs, which was launched in June 2020 at the height of the pandemic. Elevate AIDA was created in partnership with UN Women and WeEmpowerAsia and aims to provide women in rural areas in the Philippines with remote work skills, basic professional and computer skills, and AI data labeling skills so they can become active contributors in the digital economy and artificial intelligence industry.
TVI, together with the Aboitiz Foundation, entered into a memorandum of agreement with Connected Women in a signing ceremony in Barangay Bato in Toledo City on March 23, 2022 to train unemployed women, particularly mothers, from its partner communities in barangays Bato, Cabitoonan, and Awihao in Toledo. At the end of their training program, these women will be able to do basic data annotation tasks such as image identification and categorization.
“Community development is at the core of how we do business at TVI. Sustainable growth is only possible when our communities grow with us. Through projects such as this, not only do we create long-term partnerships and relationships with our neighbors, we also help build a better future for them,” said AboitizPower Coal Business Unit Vice President for Corporate Services Ginger Tanchi.
Tanchi shared that many women in TVI’s host communities, those who are living in rural areas, are often overburdened with household economic struggles, which have been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Through our partnership with Connected Women, we would be able to provide the women in our host communities what they need most—an opportunity to learn new skills and provide additional income for their household, without having to leave their homes and families,” Tanchi said.
More than providing these women an opportunity to support their families, the Elevate AIDA program of Connected Women would also empower them with the skills that drive the growth of the digital economy.
“This closely aligns with one of the important core values of the Aboitiz Group—Innovation. We embrace the role of digital transformation and data analytics in thriving in the ever changing world today. The training and work opportunities provided to these women would further drive our commitment to instill the value of Innovation not just within the company, but also our host communities,” she added.
Proof of potential
AboitizPower decided to sponsor an Elevate AIDA program in Cebu after seeing the success of the pilot program. During the first iteration of this course, graduates were given on-the-job training and they were also placed in client projects wherein they can work 100% online from anywhere in the country, even remote areas or places affected by conflict. After undergoing training, these women can potentially earn up to P10,000 a month once employed.
It was important that the pilot program provided the necessary proof of concept that technology skills training can be efficiently delivered remotely on a national scale, enabling Connected Women to present a viable, scalable solution to potential partners and collaborators.
Ruth Yu-Owen, Connected Women’s Co-Founder said, “The success of the pilot program, launched in partnership with UN Women’s WeEmpowerAsia, was critical to proving the viability of the program.”
“Partnering with big companies like AboitizPower who are committed to creating sustainable livelihood opportunities for Filipinos is essential to ensuring that women are not left behind in the future of work,” she added.
Since Elevate AIDA’s launch, around 500 ladies have been trained and participated in the course. After finalizing the deal with Connected Women, the 60 Cebuanas sponsored by AboitizPower, through TVI, will be part of the twentieth batch of graduates who will follow in the footsteps of other empowered Pinays who have found employment in the field of artificial intelligence.