The Covid-19 pandemic brought to the forefront the myriad of existing barriers to employment in a digital age: lack of access and connectivity, a digital divide across regions, and the high cost of conventional four-year degrees to prepare people for the digital workforce. Women in particular bear the brunt of labor market disruptions, where under- and unemployment often intersects along the lines of gender, race, environment, class, location, and education.
Yet, there’s also an opportunity if we prepare the workforce of the future. In the midst of all this, some organizations have leveraged remote and online opportunities for digital skills training, upskilling, and reskilling. In some areas, the shift to a virtual workforce has increased access and improved leveling the playing field. By democratizing work from anywhere and reducing location bias, people can access more training, digital tools, online work opportunities, and virtual education than ever before without leaving their homes. Companies have adopted and accelerated digital innovations in software, communications, hiring, training, management and more – not to mention educational institutions that have rapidly pivoted to virtual instruction and learning models.
While some of these innovations-by-necessity have accelerated rapid digital technology transformations, we know that inaccessibility and exclusion remain major barriers to entry into the digital workforce, especially for women, rural communities, and historically underserved groups.
To that end, ServiceNow seeks tech-enabled solutions for the 2021 Digital Workforce Challenge that leverage technology and strengthen digital capacity-building to meet the needs of the current and future digital workforce. ServiceNow seeks solutions that make the world of work work better for all, and 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
The 2021 Digital Workforce Challenge offers:
- One Grand Prize Winner: US$100,000 will be granted to the Digital Workforce Challenge Grand Prize Winner.
- One US Racial Equity Prize Winner: US$50,000 will be granted to a Finalist solution designed by and for communities of color and help advance antiracist and equitable digital workforces in the US.
- One ServiceNow Employee Choice Award: US$10,000 will be granted to the Finalist solution with the most ServiceNow employee votes.
In addition to funding, ServiceNow may provide the selected winner of the 2021 Digital Workforce Challenge with in-kind resources, including skills-based mentorship, media opportunities, and ServiceNow workflow solution support.
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.