‘Shopping’ for a secure digital future

Published April 18, 2022, 10:01 AM

by Philip Cu Unjieng

Lazada launches a foundation to equip women and the youth with e-commerce skills

As one of the most impressive examples of how commerce and technology go hand-in-hand in today’s world, Lazada has been around for only 10 years. Founded in 2012, the Lazada Group is now one of the leading eCommerce platforms in Southeast Asia, entrenched in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. It’s the largest logistics and payments network in the region and, since 2016, it has been the flagship platform of the Alibaba Group in Southeast Asia—powered by world class technology infrastructure.

TEACH TECH — At the signing of the memorandum of agreement between Lazada PH and For The Women Philippines (from left): Michelle Alarcon, head of learning FTW Philippines; Cara Wilson, executive director and co-founder, FTW Philippines; Carlos Otermin Barrera, deputy CEO, Lazada PH; and Johanna Jacob, chief people officer, Lazada PH

Not one to rest on its laurels, Lazada now launches the Lazada Foundation to secure a strong digital future for women and youth as one of its advocacies. This will be achieved by committing to education opportunities in the digital economy and closing the gender digital divide. One of its plans is to offer scholarships and career growth opportunities to talented youth across the six markets, with piloting to be done in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

Apart from recognizing young talent, the Lazada Foundation will also work with local strategic partners to provide opportunities to underprivileged youth and women. In particular, there’s the focus to uplift women in technology. Working with For The Women (FTW) Philippines, the Lazada Foundation will sponsor a Data Science Scholarship Program and offer data science training to promising young women who are looking to switch to, and build a career in tech. The hope is that this will be Lazada’s contribution to narrowing the gender digital divide, and promote greater equality and inclusivity in the tech industry.

“Southeast Asia’s future is in the hands of the youth. The next generation of leaders have big dreams for themselves and the communities they live in, and Lazada Foundation wants to help them fulfill those dreams,” says Johanna Jacob, chief people officer of Lazada PH. “The future of work goes beyond what is taught in the classroom. To prepare our youth for a digital future, Lazada is committed to provide coaching, mentorship, involvement with other technology-driven initiatives to bring youth one step closer to their dreams.”

She adds: “As we work to support businesses to thrive online, we are equally committed to uplift young women to their rightful place as movers in the tech industry. We found a good partner in For The Women Philippines, with their unique and targeted approach to tech enablement for young women.”

A critical part of FTW’s data science immersive training course is how it conducts a rigorous application program to select ideal women candidates for tech positions. Candidates are chosen for their aptitude and attitude that fit with qualities identified as success markers, namely resilience and adaptability.

Cara Wilson, FTW Philippines executive director and co-founder, explains that, “the Lazada x FTW Data Science Scholarship Program marks a shared vision of empowering women for future-resilient roles that create real impact. Like FTW, Lazada believes that it is only with true diversity and opportunity that systemic change can happen for the Philippines.”

The Lazada Foundation scholarships are designed to support young talent to pursue their education and academically excel without financial hurdles standing in their way. Furthermore, these young talents will be receiving career and internship opportunities, which will contribute to their holistic development and equip them with e-commerce skill sets.

For more information about the Lazada Foundation, visit https://group.Lazada.com/en/press-release/. The Lazada Foundation is taking concrete steps to secure our digital future, and to ensure that future will be characterized by gender inclusivity, mapping out an e-commerce future that we’d all like to experience.

 
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