Human Uplift Takes Flight
June 16, 2022
7 Minute Read
At Automation Anywhere, our mission is to help every company build a digital workforce and succeed with automation. This way, people and teams focus on what they do best: collaborate, create, and grow businesses. This is the future of work.
Whether it’s through our automation software or social impact, Automation Anywhere builds human enablement. Right now, we’re making exciting progress in human uplift—a major focus for our Social Impact Office.
Why human uplift?
As we build our technology to enable humans to do more, we are aware that while catalyst technologies such as our Robotic Process Automation (RPA) create new jobs, they may cause other jobs to transition. As responsible global citizens, we aim to create easy transition and upskill/reskill paths for those impacted.
This is our opportunity to bridge the skills and individual wealth gaps created by today’s technology jobs. Automation Anywhere aims to help those who yearn for a chance to improve their lives but with little opportunity to do so. We believe all humans deserve equitable access to technology jobs and the human uplift they create.
We’re passionate about connecting with specific groups that are often excluded from opportunities to learn fast-developing technologies and the skills essential for future income security. Minorities, women, working mothers, people with low income, and people with disabilities are among those typically left behind.
Working across our company and in communities worldwide, we’ve constructed a working ecosystem for human uplift.
Making uplift successful
This was a multi-staged, challenging journey where many different components of our offerings came together in a successful package.
I envisioned the package to have three important and accessible components:
- Free training to ease the barrier to upskill/reskill
- Bite-sized learning and fast certifications to make the training more easily digestible amongst competing responsibilities, especially for those who are economically vulnerable
- Free licensing to develop confidence and practice in the skills learned to land a job.
The social impact office began by collaborating with the engineering and educational teams at Automation Anywhere and then connected with impact partners across the world, their constituents, and their local governments.
Our uplift must-haves included:
- Technology that is easy for anyone to build and work with
- Bite-sized, digital, and self-service training modules designed by Automation Anywhere University (AAU) for people who have no choice but to learn on the fly
- Modules across numerous learning paths (think IT, analysts, developers, support, and more)
- An RPA certification process achievable by people with little spare time within a three-to-six-month timeframe, rather than the typical one to two years
- Accessibility to our Digital Workforce platform for software bot development and management through our Community Edition—and membership in the world’s largest RPA community, A-People
- Continuous learning for our social impact partners’ associates
- A “trainer enablement” model for effective scaling.
All these resources had to be easily accessible through our social impact partners—and finding them was the next critical stage on this journey. We sought partners that would develop that spark of confidence needed to pursue and land a tech job by allowing these groups to practice on Community Edition and to work in a tech environment. Our committed and passionate partners who provide soft skill training and work with local governments have been the most successful in shaping RPA professionals into valuable assets for their community. Without their high touch, our delivery of an end-to-end solution would never be successful. We believe that it is our responsibility to be their ally in change.
Where we make an impact
We’re focusing on delivering impact in all regions of the world, including the US, the Indian subcontinent, and Africa, where people face insurmountable barriers to landing tech jobs and would never normally access training such as ours. Our upskilling/reskilling partners are impactful on the ground and share our mission and values.
The City of Clarksdale is in the Mississippi Delta, the poorest region in the U.S., where median household income barely exceeds $30,000 a year. It’s also where we launched an RPA Center of Excellence (CoE) to reskill the economically challenged with PeopleShores. This Public Benefit Corporation (PBC) brings jobs to impoverished U.S. communities, offering hundreds of hours of paid foundation, technical, and process training to each associate they employ. The Mississippi Development Authority, Clarksdale/Coho County Chamber of Commerce, and the city government of Clarksdale worked tirelessly with PeopleShores and ourselves to make the partnership a success.
Fifty-eight percent of India’s population are poorly educated subsistence farmers who work increasingly non-arable land. Fifty percent of Indians are under 25 and, especially in rural areas, are torn between local unemployment or a poor quality of life in a city far from family. We offer a free product, training, and capital to PBC Rural Shores, which employs 2,300 people close to their homes across 14 Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) centers in eight states.
Southern Africa and Nigeria
Unemployment (35% of South Africans, for example, are unemployed) and gender discrimination runs rampant in this region’s workplaces, family life, and education. We partner with South Africa-based RPA Nuggets, a team of experts in corporate automation training, that brings women future-of-work RPA skills, greater employability, and financial empowerment—with the goal of training one million African women in RPA. This is a powerful vision for women; RPA-related salaries in South Africa, for example, pay R25,000-35,000, far above the average salary of R8,000-10,000.
Stories of human enablement
Clarksdale, Mississippi, is a negative population growth region with no major employer in more than 300 miles. Before PeopleShores, resident Sharlett Keaton’s only local employment options had been an O'Reilly's Auto Parts or a Family Dollar Store. Yet, after becoming Automation Anywhere certified as an RPA Trainer, she became a bot development manager for PeopleShores business clients. Sharlett describes her training as life-changing and is proud of her creations; one bot, for example, shortened a tedious HR team task from six hours to three minutes.
“I am now proficient in computer technology and business savvy,” said Keaton. “Every day, I think about what new bot I can create. I have a career and the feeling that I am truly part of something great.”
We know our human enablement efforts are successful when we see those with little opportunity evolve a sense of self-worth. “Sita” lives in a rural village home with her parents, grandmother, two married sisters, and a younger brother. She recently shared her pride in becoming a breadwinner for her family with RuralShores’ CEO and how it brought a strong sense of value and worth into her life. “This work has helped me a lot and will also help solve any problems we might face in our future lives,” she said. “This company is really helpful for a lot of people who work here.”
Community and world impact
A job not only raises an employee’s morale and their family’s standard of living but also sparks the creation of even more work opportunities throughout these communities. The money circulated from these wages creates a healthier community economy. Local work opportunities eliminate the social/economic stress caused by migration to large cities, and families can stay together.
We have also learned that some of the workers we helped upskill are helping address our third pillar—solving worldwide challenges such as COVID-related crises. Sharon Keaton, for example, is proud that bots she built helped the state of Mississippi process more than 20,000 unemployment claims daily—for faster pandemic relief payouts to those in need.
For those who want to learn more
It is worth noting that we offer standalone scholarship programs for RPA training and certification. In 2020, we awarded 140 in 2020 to those in transition amid the COVID pandemic. Recently, we invited attendees at the Paris conference for Women in Technology, an org aiming to advance women “from the classroom to the boardroom,” to enter a lottery for 50 scholarships.
Want to get involved?
Are you a tech-focused impact organization looking to create cutting-edge, empowering opportunities for the groups and communities you serve? Does your vision for human uplift align with ours? If you’d like to be part of this growing movement, please connect with us by email at email@example.com. Together, we’ll give back to the future.
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About Neeti Mehta Shukla
Company Co-Founder and Social Impact Officer, Neeti is committed to empowering non-profits and uplifting vulnerable societal groups through tech upskilling and making automation a global force for good.Subscribe via EmailView All Posts LinkedIn