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Separated by two continents and a vast ocean, Tholang Mathopa and I discovered each other in 2020. We’re female entrepreneurs and founders of organizations that promote Robotic Process Automation (RPA) technology. Both Automation Anywhere and Tholang’s non-government organization (NGO), RPA Nuggets, are on the same quest for human enablement. 

The RPA whirlwind is now

Demand for RPA and the people who can work with it is exploding. Even so, fast-developing technologies such as RPA may exclude people in disadvantaged communities or specific socio-economic groups from income security—unless we reach out to those impacted to help them to upskill and reskill. And that’s what Automation Anywhere and RPA Nuggets are doing.

Automation Anywhere built its RPA technology to free people from repetitive, manual tasks and make end-to-end business processes exponentially more efficient and productive. We developed our software with accessibility in mind for all kinds of people across all socio-economic and work experience levels. Most working people find it is easy to build and work alongside our bots.

An intelligent solutions services provider, RPA Nuggets operates on the view that much of Africa’s huge unemployment is from the lack of awareness that Future of Work skills are the key to a good living in our new digital economy. Tholang told me she wants to build a caring community to help people transition from being retrenched into working in automation and knowing they have a marketable skill for the future. Needless to say, we bonded.

Reaching out to those impacted to help them reskill is an ethical priority for our company—and when Tholang shared her brave vision of reskilling one million women in Africa in RPA, I was inspired to accelerate that journey with some of our corporate “muscle.”

Automation Anywhere has given RPA Nuggets software and licensing, training, tools, and support. I also wanted to personally help Tholang through advice and encouragement to build and sustain a quality program.

“Empowering women transforms the world”—Melinda Gates

Tholang’s efforts to specifically target women spoke to me. We are both creating programs to attract women to our organizations and make them successful. We aspire to grow women’s leadership in tech. This is truly an ambitious quest.

The World Economic Forum recently reported that only 22 percent of global AI professionals are female. Just 10 percent of this already small number of women in IT make it to executive levels. “I hope RPA Nuggets inspires a lot of its women to take on leadership roles we need in tech, not just for the sake of being ‘females in tech,’ but to make an impact,” Tholang says. “I hope they challenge and change the status quo, especially at levels where decisions are made that affect people on the ground.” 

It is critical that the quest to shape female leaders in RPA succeeds. To deploy AI that is ethical and unbiased, we need robust and wide-ranging data sets that reflect all aspects of diversity worldwide and people from across the human spectrum to build them. We need women who can ask intelligent questions, drive change, and manage the creation and shaping of this powerful tool.

The key to success

Succeeding in this quest will take a multitude of women lifting up other women. We have reached some exciting milestones together. RPA Nuggets has already upskilled more than 150 women in Automation Anywhere RPA. Equally gratifying is that Tholang is inspiring other female NGO founders to learn and use RPA to improve their operations and share their new RPA skills with their constituents.

Mariachana Moturi, the founder and executive director of Techducate Africa, a Kenyan NGO that empowers underprivileged primary and secondary school children through technology learning, had met Tholang through a mentorship program. She took Tholang up on her offer to introduce her and her team to the Automation Anywhere RPA software. 

When Mariachana realized RPA had helped her shave a weeklong process down to two days, she knew her Techducate children should learn about bots. “I was so impressed with my interaction with Automation Anywhere that I asked myself how we could introduce this to the kids,” she says. “We’ve started to incorporate modules that teach them what Automation Anywhere does and what RPA is. It’s exciting to see RPA transition into our ‘edtech’ work in the community.” 

I have already learned a great deal from our relationship with RPA Nuggets—certainly how women operating across great distances can connect over a shared dream and lift each other through shared brains, brawn, and overall bravado. A rising tide will indeed lift all boats.

Learn More About Our Social Impact Programs.

About Neeti Mehta Shukla

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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.

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