Successful Digital Marketing Bootcamp has shown learning progressions - Ascento is delighted to help increase diversity in the workplace.

6th August 2021

Becoming more diverse and inclusive is important to any organisation. Work culture inclusion is a deciding factor in improved work productivity for around 77% of women and 67% of men, according to Accenture's Getting to Equal recent report.

At Ascento Learning and Development, they are delighted to have witnessed how successful learning and work progressions have been from their initial D2N2 Digital Marketing Bootcamps which have led into apprenticeships, by helping both men and women feel more confident, knowledgeable and empowered to further their careers or perhaps try something new.

Managing Director at Ascento, Chris Ash, stated “Many firms quite rightly are concerned about gender equality. Prior to the pandemic, we noticed that the startup, SME, scaleup communities and even larger companies were beginning to shift in a more favourable direction to address any inequalities. Through the Bootcamp course, we have witnessed a large female uptake in this fully funded opportunity and this has helped upskill them in the workplace in areas they wished to focus upon.”

Ascento Learning and Development has seen more women accessing their Digital Marketing apprenticeship portfolio following the Bootcamp and noted that more women who were newly unemployed due to the pandemic within the D2N2 region were more likely to take the course up compared to men in the same position. This course was open to people from all backgrounds and the main funding requirement was location.

One student has stood out in the learning and work progressions and why the course was attractive to women in employment within D2N2 was Emma Gillgrass works in Marketing for Prime Accounts. She was an original member of the first Bootcamp cohort and has progressed through to Ascento's Digital Marketing Level 3 Apprenticeship to further enhance her career, learning and development.

Emma Gillgrass, aged 36 from Bolsover in Derbyshire suggested “After decades of working in childcare and care, I needed a new direction but often it’s hard to find courses you can afford when you are a single parent. What I loved about the Bootcamp was that it was fully funded and fitted around my life to give me new skills to enhance my working life.

The most common question I get asked working in Marketing is about the University I went to and which course I undertook when younger. My grounding and background came from the D2N2 funded course and was a great way to keep me focused as well as busy during the pandemic.

As the Bootcamp went so well, I have just started the Digital Marketing Level 3 Apprenticeship. This has all given me a huge focus and dare I say has been a distraction in turbulent times.

I am so grateful to Ascento for giving me the launch pad to help drive my career into a new direction and has given me the opportunity to take care of myself and my children in a more child-friendly career. I feel like I will no longer be pushed to one side as a Mum and I have a new identity and inner confidence that is helping me in my Marketing career.”

Jack Hawksworth, Head of the Digital Marketing school at Ascento stated "Emma has shown a rare, but brilliant willingness and desire to learn new skills and improve in her job. Despite being at the early stage of her apprenticeship she is already showing her ability to think outside of the box and reconsider how she approaches her audience with her marketing material. I'm looking forward to witnessing Emma's journey and assisting her through the process."

Moreover, David Loydall, Digital Marketing Tutor for the Bootcamp suggested “Emma came into the Bootcamp programme with little marketing experience but a desire to learn, she pushed the boundaries of the programme and exceed expectations from what was asked of her. She has the passion to not only learn but apply that knowledge and make a difference within her workplace.”

Oliver Simpson, Commercial Director explains “Due to the changing nature of business as a direct result of the Covid19 pandemic we have seen an overwhelming increase in demand for our industry leading digital marketing and management apprenticeship qualifications, this is primarily due to the huge migration to remote working over the last year but has also been linked to the Bootcamp courses through learning progressions. Businesses now recognise the urgent need to up-skill their existing staff as the existing management structures need to be adapted and their traditional routes to market have changed.

We have ambitious growth plans in place for the coming years as we look to cement our place as the leading provider of Digital Marketing and Management apprenticeships in the country.”

While the pandemic resulted in a cessation of in-person learning, with education undergoing significant transformations in virtual classroom courses and on-demand online courses growing in popularity through digital platforms; Ascento has thrived as an online learning and development provider increasing retention and time efficiencies. This has provided flexibility for their staff and learners as well as their employers.

This is all part of a bigger picture that reflects the picture of global business management; Accenture's yearly research shows that only 2.8% of Fortune Global 500 businesses have a female CEO. Furthermore, just one out of every five enterprises are established by a woman, whilst only 27% of women hold top positions in media businesses, according to the Global Report on the Status of Women in the News Media (just over a quarter).

As noted by Gender Equality Advisory Council (GEAC), open society values shared by the Group of Seven (G7) and the recognition that gender equality is integral to those values. “Women and girls must have the same opportunities and rights - political, economic, social and cultural - as men. We challenge G7 Leaders to be ambitious for all women, including but not limited to those marginalised by race, ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and socio-economic status.”

They also noted that “Women and girls continue to be underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) studies and careers: globally, only 7% of women choose to study engineering, manufacturing, or construction in tertiary education, compared with 22% of men. Beyond the wage gap that comes with women being underrepresented in STEM jobs, the gender gap in STEM is an inefficient allocation of labour and talent, and a missed opportunity for economies around the world.”

Oliver Simpson, Commercial Director for Ascento stated “We, at Ascento, practice what we preach about gender equality and are conscious of creating a thriving environment for all. We believe this was and continues to be a strong part of our company’s culture, ethos and values, and we are looking forward to following continuing this journey with our employee partners.”

To find out more about Ascento Learning and Development and their courses, visit

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