Helping women with career gaps re-enter the workforce

In the dynamic and competitive landscape of the job market, individuals often face formidable obstacles when seeking employment. This is especially true for women navigating career gaps or transitions. Aqsa Shuja, a graduate of Generation Australia’s Data Analytics Program, shares her insights into the challenges faced by women in securing jobs and the transformative impact of the program in breaking these barriers and reshaping careers, particularly in the dynamic tech industry.

Overcoming Barriers to Employment

Aqsa sheds light on the challenges she faced, stating, “Employers are still reluctant to put their trust in women with employment gaps and with little experience in the field. It’s about time we normalise career gaps/career change and open-heartedly give second chances to women trying to make a comeback.” 

Empowering Women in the Tech Industry

To facilitate improved career opportunities for women in Australia, especially in the tech industry, Aqsa advocates for tangible steps. She asserts, “We need to make it easy and doable. We need more success stories/role models. We need to change the concept that it’s hard for a woman to thrive in the tech industry. We need to establish a support system for women who are interested in starting a career in tech. Education to employment programs and training along with mentorship and coaching (similar to Generation Australia’s programs).” Aqsa highlights the importance of tangible support systems and the need to challenge preconceived notions about women thriving in tech.

Navigating the Dynamic Tech Industry

Expressing her hopes for the future of her career, Aqsa adds, “The tech industry is dynamic. I am passionate to learn and grow. I hope I continue getting opportunities where I can make the most of my skills and abilities and at the same time, I am given a chance to challenge myself. Generation Australia has laid a solid foundation for me to build and navigate my career. I have the confidence that I have acquired the right skills to work in a Data Analyst role and I can still reach out to Generation Australia for advice and support.” 

The Impact of Generation Australia

Asked why she chose to apply for the program, she reveals, “I got to know about the program through a friend. At the time I was trying to re-enter the workforce after being a stay-at-home mom for many years. I was also trying to transition from a career in banking and finance to a career in technology. I was struggling to get my foot in the door. Generation Australia delivers education-to-employment programs that support people facing barriers to employment. It includes preparation, placement, and ongoing support. That’s everything I needed to restart.” Aqsa’s insights articulate her personal challenges and how Generation Australia’s comprehensive programs addressed her specific needs.

Transformative Learnings

Aqsa’s biggest takeaway from the program is encapsulated in her words: “The biggest takeaway for me is the shift from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. I learned how important it is to take every experience as a learning opportunity. Rather than being afraid of failure and change, one should embrace it. Learning from mistakes is the key when it comes to developing skills, confidence building, performance as a team, and overall career progression and advancement.” 

Post-Graduation Success

Reflecting on the changes since graduating, she states, “Everything! It sounds cliché but it’s true! Generation has changed my life for the better! I started working with Accenture as a PMO/Junior data analyst just a few days after graduating from the DA program. From there things started working out for me! I am financially independent now. My self-esteem and confidence have improved. I can choose and make decisions for myself without looking unto others for approval. The way I look at myself has changed. It’s like a solid foundation has been laid for success in my new career.” 

In expressing gratitude, Aqsa acknowledges the pivotal role played by Generation Australia and extends thanks to everyone associated with the program. She recognises that this transformative journey would not have been possible without the invaluable help and support she received from the dedicated team at Generation Australia.