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The Asia Foundation and Visa Partner to Bridge the Gender Digital Skills Gap in Asia and the Pacific

April 4, 2023 — The Asia Foundation, through its Future Skills Alliance, is collaborating with Visa to address the growing gender digital skills divide in Asia and the Pacific. The partnership aims to broaden participation in the digital economy among women who are either at the early stages of their careers, returning to work, or running their businesses.

Through this partnership, The Asia Foundation and Visa will work with local partners in India and Vietnam, including universities, business associations, microfinance institutions, and civic organizations, to deliver fit-for-purpose digital financial education, training, and mentoring programs for women.

As part of the Foundation’s digital skills initiatives under the Future Skills Alliance and funded with grants from Visa, these two programs will support over 5,000 early career and returning women professionals in India, and 25,000 women small business owners in Vietnam, over the next three years.

“The Asia Foundation is excited to partner with Visa on a growing suite of Future Skills Alliance programs across key markets in Asia, as we share the vision of narrowing the digital skills gap to ensure that no one gets left behind,” said Robin Bush, The Asia Foundation’s Future Skills Alliance co-lead.

“Visa believes that everyone, everywhere, should have opportunities to meaningfully participate in the digital economy,” said Nate Low, Senior Director for Inclusive Impact & Sustainability, Visa Asia Pacific. “We are proud to expand our partnership with The Asia Foundation and join the Future Skills Alliance to uplift the lives of women in Vietnam and India with digital and financial education opportunities.”

This announcement builds off a successful partnership that provided access to vital digital skills to more than 6,500 women-led businesses in Malaysia and Indonesia.

A woman works on a machine

While digital advancement continues to drive economic growth in Asia-Pacific, the region’s huge talent and workforce potential largely remains untapped because women have limited participation in the digital economy.

In India, women aged 20-24 form the highest proportion of unemployed, willing-to-work, and active job seekers. With the job market heading to digitalization, this group faces the risk of getting left behind without access to digital skills education. The same applies to women who have left the workforce due to pregnancy, and/or care responsibilities and want to return. Through The Asia Foundation and Visa’s partnership, women facing these two career challenges will build financial, digital, and technology skills that are critical in helping them find work, grow their careers, and ensure the financial well-being of their families.

A similar digital skills gap exists in Vietnam, particularly in small and growing businesses (SGBs), which account for 96% of all businesses. While SGBs are recognized for their strategic capacity to contribute to the country’s economic growth, this group is also among the hardest hit by the pandemic and most in need of support in terms of capacity development and greater market access. Many of these SGBs are led by women with limited access to training and financing, let alone opportunities to expand their businesses and compete in the post-pandemic digital market.

The FSA is a broad coalition of partners from the public and private sectors working together to deliver future skills at scale to the region’s most marginalized. Drawing on a collective impact model, FSA creates a pathway for businesses to contribute to environmental, social, and governance efforts that transform access to and participation in the digital economy across the region.

Visa (NYSE: V) is a world leader in digital payments, facilitating transactions between consumers, merchants, financial institutions, and government entities across more than 200 countries and territories. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, convenient, reliable, and secure payments network, enabling individuals, businesses, and economies to thrive. We believe that economies that include everyone everywhere uplift everyone everywhere and see access as foundational to the future of money movement. Learn more at visa.com.

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives and expanding opportunities across Asia and the Pacific. Informed by decades of experience and deep local expertise, our work across the region is focused on good governance, women’s empowerment and gender equality, inclusive economic growth, environment and climate action, and regional and international relations.

Learn more about the Foundation’s work.

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Media Contacts

Eelynn Sim
Director, Global Communications
[email protected]

Alyssa Sharpe
Senior Corporate Communications Manager, Visa
[email protected]

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Media contact

Eelynn Sim, Director, Strategy and Programs
[email protected]

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