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ServiceNow Launches 2021 Digital Workforce Challenge to Enable a Digital and Equitable World of Work

ServiceNow Digital Workforce Challenge, powered by MIT Solve, seeks innovative ideas to help underserved communities acquire digital skills

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – May 10, 2021 – ServiceNow, the leading digital workflow company that makes work, work better for people, today announced the launch of its second global Digital Workforce Challenge, powered by MIT Solve, a marketplace for social impact innovation. There is an urgent need to increase digital skills that equip workers and employers for the new era of work. The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted new and existing barriers to employment in a digital age, and the 2021 Digital Workforce Challenge aims to prepare and support workers and employers for a future that will require digital literacy, connectivity, and rapid reskilling.

To support historically underserved communities to prepare for, access, and prosper in the digital workforce, ServiceNow, in partnership with MIT Solve, invites applicants from around the world and across sectors to pitch innovative ideas that leverage technology to help solve the growing skills gap.

“ServiceNow is focused on making work – and the world – work better for everyone,” said Kathy Mulvany, Head of Global Impact at ServiceNow. “This past year has amplified the racial and socioeconomic inequalities that disproportionately impact underserved communities. We are proud to partner with MIT Solve to continue our efforts to accelerate and expand equal opportunity for everyone to participate in and benefit from the future of work.”

The Digital Workforce Challenge is seeking technology-enabled solutions that:

  • Prepare those entering, re-entering, or who are already in the workforce for the future of work through affordable and equitable digital skills, training, and employment opportunities
  • Reduce inequalities in the digital workforce for historically underserved groups through improved hiring and retention practices, skills assessments, training, and employer education and engagement
  • Provide more equitable access to the digital workforce for all, including those lacking connectivity, those who are differently abled, and those with undervalued talents
  • Create opportunities for people to engage and succeed in the digital workforce by bolstering necessary wraparound supports, such as childcare and employee wellbeing

A total of $160,000 in prize funding is available: 

  • One Grand Prize Winner: $100,000 will be granted to the Digital Workforce Challenge Grand Prize Winner.
  • One US Racial Equity Prize Winner: $50,000 will be granted to a Finalist solution designed by and for communities of color that helps advance antiracist and equitable digital workforces in the US.
  • One ServiceNow Employee Choice Award: $10,000 will be granted to the Finalist solution with the most ServiceNow employee votes.

The application is now open and will close on September 10, 2021 at 12:00pm ET. Individuals, entrepreneurs, teams, and established start-ups are invited to confirm eligibility and apply through MIT Solve’s open innovation platform on the Digital Workforce Challenge website. Three winners will be announced by the end of 2021.

“We’re thrilled to power the Digital Workforce Challenge for a second year,” said MIT Solve’s Executive Director, Alex Amouyel. “Prioritizing digital inclusion will level the playing field and increase access to better employment opportunities for historically underserved populations. We want to see innovations by and for these groups because we know that those closest to the problems often have the best solutions.” 


This Challenge is open to solutions currently deployed in one or more of the following ServiceNow locations: Australia/New Zealand, Canada, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Japan, the Netherlands, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States, OR operating in another country but with clear plans to deploy in one or more of the above ServiceNow locations. 

About MIT Solve: MIT Solve is an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that advances lasting solutions from tech entrepreneurs to address the world's most pressing problems. Solve issues four Global Challenges each year to find the most promising Solver teams who will drive transformational change. Solve then deploys its global community of private, public, and nonprofit leaders to form the partnerships these Solver teams need to scale their impact. Join the community at solve.mit.edu

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