APPROACH AND METHODOLOGY
FAT will provide technical skills training designed specifically for women in a friendly environment that will include leadership building workshops and training on many other skills needed to secure a job, keep it and excel in it. FAT will partner with grassroots organizations that specialize in women's career training to identify women wanting to be trained in technical skills. FAT will work with trainers from its partner organization to administer course instruction. FAT will also work with businesses based in each training center site to help determine was specific technical skills are in the highest demand by employers who can then potentially hire women trained through the program to meet the need. This project will also include aggressive media campaign about the issue and the success of the project through which we hope to be able to address the stereotype that women cannot be good in technical work.
Together with the technical trainers and other partners, FAT will design a comprehensive training module for holistic training and with the help of the local partner FAT will provide the training to the participating women. The detailed approach will include: Identifying technical partners to develop the curriculum and train the trainers; selecting trainers and training them to deliver curriculum instruction and mentoring; selecting local partners to assist in identifying women trainees and in implementing the trainings; identifying partners that will employ women who successfully complete the program; developing a standard curriculum for the project and individual curriculums for each technical skill on which training will be given; developing a system to match technical skills on which training will be given to local needs for each site; identifying media partners for publicity and carrying out communication strategies.
Although the training course(s) will be free for the trainees, a small security deposit (the amount will vary depending on location and student resources) will be taken. The security deposit will be refunded upon successful completion of training, thus providing an incentive to keep students from dropping out of the program.
FAT will be responsible for overall facilitation and implementation of the training programs with local partners who will assist in course instruction and job placement.
The project will first be implemented in the state of Delhi with additional sites added in the following states in Northern and Northeastern India during the commitment period: Rajasthan, Haryana, Assam, Nagaland, Meghalaya, and Uttar Pradesh
IMPLEMENTATION, TIMELINE, AND DELIVERABLES
The proposed start date for this initiative is January 1, 2012. All five training centers will be operational by July 1, 2012 beginning with the launch of a pilot of the training program by March 1, 2012.
The program will be implemented first in the state of Delhi due to the large number of corporations capable and interested in hiring women for technical jobs. Within the first two months of the commitment, the first training center will open and an initial class of 100 women will complete a pilot version of the training program by July 1st, 2012. Training center site locations and local implementing partners will be selected from a pool of possible locations and organizations in Rajasthan, Haryana, Assam, Nagaland, Meghalaya, and Uttar Pradesh during the first six months of the commitment. A total of at least five training centers will be in operation by August 1st, 2012, with each center training an average of 300 women during the commitment period. From the August 1st, 2012 until the end of the commitment on December 31st, 2013 courses will be carried on regularly at all training centers along with simultaneous efforts to place women who complete the training program with employers.
The commonly accepted stereotype that women cannot be good in technical skills has created gender division of labor which leaves underprivileged women with few employment options. Even in many technology based companies, female employees are often concentrated in low paying, low prestige jobs. Access to professional technical skills can open up career options for women which are otherwise thought to be fit for men only, for example: carpenters, electricians, drivers, auto mechanics, technical jobs in factories, etc. The common perception is that these kinds of jobs are fit for men only and this has limited women's options for careers, and hence to dignified life.
Though there are many opportunities available for developing ones technical skills, they are not easily accessible for most women in India. Due to the status of women in India, women of the lower economic group face many barriers towards obtaining technical skills and jobs in the technical sector, like restrictions from family members, lack the confidence to compete with men for jobs, and lack of awareness of and information about opportunities for technical career training.
FAT envisions a world where all women have equal opportunities to learn, use and create technology, irrespective of their academic background or economic status; an environment where women are not intimidated by new technologies but rather have an open mind to experiment with and benefit from them. There is a lot of concern in the current development debates about women's participation in technology and a lot of emphasis is given to increasing the number of women in technology production and design, i.e., women engineers, researchers, scientists and other technical professionals. However, FAT feels that it is also important that options for women that lack access to formal education are also included in these discussions and that women in developing nations have an equal opportunity to develop technical skills and thus have the same career options as men. Breaking the stereotypes that prevent women from entering these technology based careers and providing them training in technical skills that are otherwise considered unsuitable for women will help break this gender division of labor and benefit far more women than only those directly trained through this program.
SEEKING: Financial Resources, Implementing Partners, Media/Marketing Opportunities, Other
Donors for financial support. Companies as implementing partners, more specifically to provide professional technical training to the women and commit to hire them on successful completion of training.
OFFERING: Implementing Partners, Best Practice Information