Women Skilling Up with Cloud Training Program


More than 700 women at Suncorp Group will be part of a program aimed at addressing Australia’s technology skills shortage, delivered in collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Suncorp has revealed it will implement AWS CloudUp for Her Cloud Practitioner, an eight-week, community-based learning program for women to learn the basics of cloud computing.

No technical or IT experience is required to start, suitable for any type of role at any level, and is a standalone certification to demonstrate cloud awareness.

Suncorp Chief Information Officer, Adam Bennett, said the program was smashing misconceptions about tech roles as well as breaking down perceived barriers to entry for careers in tech.

“Cloud computing is the way of the future and as an early adopter, we know that cloud computing can enable our Suncorp team to offer more innovative, digital insurance solutions for our customers – at lower cost and increased agility,” Mr Bennett said. “We are blown away by the response, which has seen 1 in 12 of our female employees put their hand up to take part in the first cohort. Even more impressive is that around 70 per cent come from non-technology roles as our people look to build basic cloud knowledge, future-proof their skills and potentially create new career pathways. We recognise our talent is our competitive advantage, so this is not only an investment in them and their careers, but helping shape our workforce of the future,” he said.

Increasing digital transformation across all sectors in Australia has hiked demand for highly skilled technology workers with digital and cloud expertise.

The Australian Government pledged to address this growing IT skills shortage and aims to have 1.2 million technology-related jobs by 2030.

A recent AWS and Gallup study identified that 65 per cent of Australian workers with advanced digital skills expressed higher levels of job satisfaction, earn 24 per cent higher annual salaries, and increased their opportunities for promotion (32 per cent).

Suncorp and AWS have worked together for the past decade on the insurer’s migration to the cloud for its mission-critical apps, including its customer apps and pricing engine. Through Suncorp’s cloud strategy, the company says it has committed to exit owned or leased data centres by early 2024, migrating 90 per cent of its workloads to the cloud.

Rianne Van Veldhuizen, AWS Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand, said AWS was proud to have a long-standing relationship with Suncorp over the past 10 years.

“We have worked together with Suncorp to unlock the power of AWS to accelerate digital transformation and growth, enabling them to meet and exceed the constantly-changing and high demands that its customers are expecting,” Ms Van Veldhuizen said. To continue this modernisation journey, Suncorp will need employees that have the right cloud skills to help the organisation innovate. It’s inspiring to see a large number of women at Suncorp eager to start and continue their cloud learning journey. We’re committed to building and bringing a diverse pipeline of talent into the cloud workforce and Suncorp’s implementation of the AWS CloudUp for Her Cloud Practitioner is a great step towards this goal.”

Lori Richardson, a project manager from Brisbane, is taking part in the program and said she had already completely changed her perspective of a career in technology. I’ve already learned so much and can see how this knowledge will benefit me current role. I’m learning the language, which will help me build credibility with my stakeholders. But I also see this as a great entry point to think about what possibilities there might be for me in this field down the track.”


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