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Access Your Potential and help close the digital divide

By the ProEdge team | Published: July 20, 2022 | Read time: 4 minutes

PwC’s commitment to help increase societal equity through digital upskilling

The equity gap in the US—further pronounced by racial disparities—has only gotten wider. Racially and ethnically diverse communities face cumulative barriers to education, jobs, home ownership and more. Unequal access to education, and a division between those who have access to opportunity and those who don’t, continue to permeate our society. Black workers are nearly twice as likely to be unemployed as white workers. The proportion of Latinx students who graduate college within four years is 14% lower than the proportion of whites, leaving many stuck in low- and middle-wage jobs.

We have a responsibility to help address the equity gap in this nation and find a way to close it.

Building bridges to a more equitable future

To approach this daunting problem, we looked to our purpose: to build trust in society and solve important problems. We do this through the choices we make and the actions we take.

This digital divide has led PwC to consider what constitutes a fair economy. We’re committed to helping drive societal equity by providing clearer paths to career and economic advancement. We’re supporting a more equitable future for Black and Latinx college students.

This isn’t an empty promise. Our goal is to provide students from all backgrounds an equal opportunity to succeed. We want to help change students’ trajectories and help uplift their communities. And we want to close the digital divide.

How are we doing this?

We’re building more pathways toward a more equitable future for Black and Latinx college students with PwC’s Access Your Potential. To do this, we’ve committed $125 million to aspire to help 25,000 Black and Latinx college students prepare for—and begin—their careers.

  • We’re engaging students through an online community that inspires career awareness, confidence and know-how.

  • We’re upskilling students through immersion with tools that provide career readiness and digital skills curricula.

  • We’re supporting students through mentoring, networking, real-life skills application and scholarships to boost student success.

Enabled by ProEdge, a PwC product, the Access Your Potential curriculum generates engaging, yet challenging customized learning plans that help students determine the skills they need to be competitive.

Advancing students’ future careers isn’t an expense—it’s an investment

The US workforce should better reflect the diverse makeup of our higher education enrollment. We hope to hire 10,000 Black and Latinx student participants into our firm by 2026. Ultimately, we’re aspiring for 35% Black and Latinx representation in our experienced hires, entry-level hires and interns.

Access Your Potential is critical to helping us reach these goals. And it’s just one part of our firm’s commitment to helping increase societal equity by providing a clear path to career and economic advancement—and an equal opportunity to succeed.

We have the power to close the equity gap, bridge the digital skills divide, help change students’ trajectories and uplift their communities.

Access to education and jobs should be a right, not a privilege 

The pandemic has disproportionately impacted access to skill-building opportunities for Black, Latinx and other underserved communities. And it has laid bare the chasm between advantaged and disadvantaged while exposing a digital skills divide that amounts to digital exclusion if we don’t find a way to close this gap. The shift to remote work in 2020 changed the way we work, teach and learn. It also exposed a skills gap between those with advanced digital skills and those who consider themselves beginners.

This divide isn’t just about access to devices or the internet; it’s a skills gap as well. Digital literacy has never been more urgent. Everyone should be able to live, learn, work and participate in the digital world. Learning how to think, act and thrive in this domain—and making this sustainable over time—is key. Upskilling and reskilling are critical to closing this gap and achieving equity in both the workplace and society as a whole.

Learn more about how the Access Your Potential career readiness and digital skills curricula from ProEdge is bringing the Access Your Potential program to life for students and transforming their future career opportunities.

We’re upskilling the world –– one student at a time.

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