How Deloitte Australia’s Digital Career Compass programme is empowering women and diverse communities to reach their full potential in a digital world.
Katherine, 43, learnt about Deloitte Australia’s Digital Career Compass programme last year, just a year after a family event that had left her in significantly diminished economic circumstances. A friend told her that the programme was geared toward people experiencing major change or disadvantage and who were trying to forge new paths. Deloitte Australia and Salesforce, a global leader in Customer Relationship Management (CRM), had teamed up to develop the programme and help participants kick-start a career in technology.
“This job made my independence possible.”
- Katherine, Deloitte AU employee and Digital Career Compass alumna
Katherine was accepted into the 12-week training programme, where she received Salesforce technical and business skills training and mentoring. She did well and was invited for a job interview at Deloitte Australia.
“I asked for an entry level job,” she said. But considering her results in the programme, existing skills and qualifications and strong performance in the interview itself, Deloitte Australia offered her a senior consultancy position.
Katherine now has her own house; the Deloitte role having helped to set her firmly on a path to rebuild a better future for herself and her children. “This job made my independence possible,” she said. She plans to move closer to Melbourne from the countryside when her children finish high school. But for the time being, she feels empowered by the progress she has made.
“I was born into a family where a girl's education is considered an expense rather than an investment. Growing up, I was told a career in tech is for boys— [Digital Career Compass] motivated me to increase my interest in technology and software.”
- Digital Career Compass alumna
Deloitte Australia developed the Digital Career Compass programme to help close the growing skills gap in Australia’s technology industry, by empowering diverse and often disadvantaged communities to thrive in the digital workforce. More than half of Australians have little to no understanding of coding, blockchain, Artificial Intelligence or data analysis and the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have driven a greater skills shortage of technology talent. By 2025, Australia will need over 150,000 more digital technology workers - representing one in four jobs created during that period.
The programme works with a range of not-for-profit community organisations nationwide. A diverse range of candidates are attracted to the programme, including women like Katherine who want to return to the workforce, often from adverse circumstances. Participants include people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities, people with physical disabilities, current and retired professional athletes and veterans and their spouses. Successful candidates can access future employment opportunities with Deloitte Australia alliances, technology ecosystems and clients.
Katherine was among 31 participants who graduated from the programme last year. This year, 60 people from across different age groups, of which 68% identified as women, took part. The programme is free and allows candidates to complete it at their own pace, which provides flexibility to accommodate work and family commitments.
“I was born into a family where a girl's education is considered an expense rather than an investment,” said one woman who recently completed the programme. “Growing up, I was told a career in tech is for boys - this motivated me to increase my interest in technology and software.”
Digital Career Compass is just one of many programmes in which Deloitte Australia works with not-for-profit community organisations across the region to help support education and skills building—which contributes to Deloitte's global commitment to affect 100 million people by 2030.