A new study from Coursera, Inc. reveals the Philippines recorded the highest YoY increase in online learning participation among women learners at 774 percent to rank #1 among 190 countries.
The Women and Skills Report from Coursera (NYSE: COUR), one of the largest online learning platforms in the world, examines the pandemic’s impact on skills and learning trends among women and compares prepandemic enrollment and performance data with trends observed on the Coursera platform since the onset of the pandemic through June 2021. The report reveals an impressive increase in online learning participation among women learners globally and in the Philippines. More women are also participating in certificate training programs aimed at entry-level digital jobs.
The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2021 indicates that the pandemic has disproportionately impacted women in the Philippines, with the country ranking lower than in 2020. Despite the country almost bridging the education attainment gap at 99.9 percent, there is still a gender disparity in labor force participation with only 49 percent of women in the job market today.
“We believe that remote work and online learning are setting a solid foundation for a more inclusive economic recovery. While women participation in the labor force is low in the Philippines, in the long term, we may see this percentage rise as access to equal job-relevant online education leads to equal employment opportunity,” said Raghav Gupta, managing director, India and APAC, Coursera. “The encouraging trends from the report are a testament to the resilience of Filipina learners and their determination to return to work and advance their careers.”
Philippine insights from the Women and Skills Report include:
- The Philippines ranks #1 (774%) worldwide for the highest increase in YoY enrollments from women. The majority (56%) of new learners in the Philippines today are women, bringing the total number of registered women learners in the country to 650,000.
- Top skills among Filipinas show high investment in business skills. The Top 10 skills from the past year include communication (1.2M enrollments among women in the Philippines), leadership and management (880,000), entrepreneurship (740,000), marketing (630,000) and business analysis (550,000). The majority of the most popular courses are also from the business domain, including Excel Skills for Business (Macquarie University) and Write Professional Emails in English (Georgia Institute of Technology).
- Trends among women learners in the Philippines align with global learner trends. Though business skills are the most popular, more women are enrolling in STEM courses. For STEM courses, the gender gap narrowed from 38 percent enrollments from women in 2019 to 43 percent in 2021. Filipino women are investing in critical STEM skills like probability and statistics (680,000 enrollments), data analysis (490,000), and computer programming (480,000), with Programming from Everybody from University of Michigan among the most popular courses.
- Women in the Philippines are enrolling in more courses now than prepandemic, particularly in certificate training programs aimed at entry-level digital jobs. Women’s enrollments in entry-level Professional Certificates increased from 33 percent in 2019 to 47 percent in 2021. These certificates from industry leaders such as Google, IBM and Facebook are designed to prepare learners without a college degree or technology experience for a wide range of high-demand digital jobs.
- Businesses, governments and campuses will continue to play a key role in reducing gender gaps in the digital economy. In 2021, there were higher shares of registered women learners for programs where Coursera is used by various businesses, governments and campuses in the Philippines at 44 percent, 57 percent and 54 percent, respectively compared with global data at 36 percent, 51 percent and 42 percent. Better gender share is likely to contribute to more diverse talent pipelines for employers.
“I earned my computer science degree with only a handful of women alongside me, and while a great deal has changed since then, we still have important work to do to increase women’s representation in technology and leadership,” said Betty Vandenbosch, chief content officer at Coursera. “Access to flexible and job-relevant education can help women learn the new skills they need to enter high-demand roles and achieve better gender balance in the workforce,” Vandenbosch added.
With more than 87 million learners and 5,000 courses on the platform, Coursera has one of the largest data sets for identifying and measuring skill trends. The Women and Skills Report includes data from 40 million new learners who registered during the pandemic between January 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021.