Last Mother's Day, May 14, 2023, marked an auspicious occasion. Elevate AIDA (artificial intelligence and data analytics), a collaborative effort between Connected Women and the Aboitiz Foundation that began as a small training program for 60 women from Toledo City in Cebu, is now a community of 300 connected women with a goal of reaching 300,000 women in three years. Embodying the strength, resilience, and enduring love of mothers and daughters worldwide, the project aims to uplift the lives of Filipino women by offering them a chance to embrace socially responsible online work.
Aboitiz Foundation, as part of the Aboitiz Group’s quest to become the Philippines' first "techglomerate," has set its sights on enabling women's empowerment through the use of technology. Their goal aligns with Connected Women's vision to help women gain access to digital skills, opening doors for financial independence, the pursuit of meaningful careers, and the ability to build a better future.
“It was evident that our shared vision and commitment to empowering women and leveraging technology for positive change aligned perfectly. We look forward to continuing this incredible partnership with Connected Women and further amplifying our impact, as together we co-create a resilient, empowered and sustainable community,” said Aboitiz Foundation President Maribeth Marasigan.
In the age of rapid technological progress, the Elevate AIDA project is perfectly timed. It seeks to prepare women for a future dominated by artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and data science. The graduates of the program are expected to gain market-aligned skills that will provide them access to long-term, flexible work, and livelihood opportunities. This initiative is not just about empowering individuals; it's about creating a ripple effect that touches families, communities, and even future generations.
As the Aboitiz Group undergoes its Great Transformation to become the Philippines’ first Techglomerate, it is also empowering communities with the tools and knowledge to thrive in today’s digital world. Elevate AIDA trains women in Artificial Intelligence and Data Annotation (AIDA), opening up long-term, flexible work and livelihood opportunities for them.
The program doesn't stop at skills training. It also fosters a vibrant community of support, facilitating networking and connection. Through this collective journey, participants are not only trained with new skills but also find their place within a nurturing community.
The collaboration between Connected Women and the Aboitiz Group transcends a simple partnership, and spans across several of the conglomerate’s business units, who all share a deep-rooted commitment to empowering women and leveraging technology for positive change. Together with the Aboitiz Foundation, Aboitiz Data Innovation, Visayan Electric Company, Therma Visayas Inc., Aboitiz Land, and Union Bank of the Philippines are all playing a role in expanding Elevate AIDA’s reach with speed, synergy, and scale. “This is a techglomerate in action,” says Ginggay Hontiveros-Malvar, Aboitiz’s Chief Reputation and Sustainability Officer. “Our combined efforts are co-creating a resilient and sustainable community, one tech-empowered woman at a time.”
Providing this opportunity to women, especially mothers, is vital in creating a more equitable future. Elevate AIDA seeks to harness the power of technology to enable women from all walks of life to thrive and grow, both personally and professionally. It's about creating an inclusive future of work that allows women to build successful careers from their homes, earn decent wages, and actively participate in the digital economy.
Kris Ann Marie Escopete, a 21-year-old mother from Carreta, Cebu, is the youngest among the mother beneficiaries of Elevate AIDA. On the opportunity, she shared, “Dako kaayo akong pasalamat sa Elevate AIDA kay dako kaayo siyag tabang namong mga inahan kay bisan pag naa rami sa among balay, maka panginabuhi gihapon mi bisan pag nagbantay mi sa among mga anak (I am very grateful to Elevate AIDA because it provides significant assistance to us mothers. Even when we are at home, we can still generate income while taking care of our children.)”
The Aboitiz Group further empowers women in tech as it scales its partnership with Connected Women into a national program. This continues the Group’s strong corporate social responsibility legacy and innovation advocacy. Left photo: Shie, one of the beneficiaries, uses her computer to access the Elevate AIDA program.
Connected Women Founder and Head of Special Project Gina Romero neatly encapsulates the essence of the program, stating, "We are celebrating not just your amazing journey as part of Elevate AIDA but also the important role you play as mothers. Working remotely and having flexibility is the future. Your courage in taking a step towards empowering and upskilling yourself more for technology will not go unrewarded." To date, Elevate AIDA has empowered over 50,000 Filipino women with digital skills that have opened job opportunities. The program is an inspiring collaboration and a testament to the reality that nobody can achieve greatness alone.
Elevate AIDA not only celebrates the incredible potential of women everywhere, but the immense power of people and partnerships that makes true equality real and possible.