Sergey Tokarev About Ways To Get More Women Involved in Ukrainian Tech Industry
Women have faced discrimination in the technology industry for many years. This is a huge mistake for the whole tech area since women may contribute to a strong workforce and develop into skilled professionals. Nowadays, women make up about 25% of all IT professionals in Ukraine. This amount should be raised as it is currently insufficient. Entrepreneur Sergey Tokarev, founding partner of Roosh and investor in Reface, offers his thoughts on how to encourage women to work in Technology by creating educational projects.
IT has resembled a barred-off space for women. Tokarev says that many girls are reluctant to pursue careers in IT because of persistent misconceptions that this is a primarily “male” field. They frequently hear that their goal in entering the IT field is to find a lifemate and that they may only pose as HR or QA experts.
On the one hand, many girls are put off by this issue. On the other side, the industry loses potentially important future employees. In addition, the industry is lacking in professionals, especially in data science, cybersecurity, AI, and machine learning. Sergey Tokarev advises developing thematic groups and communities as a way out. This will spark more interest in girls and enable them to identify a female role model in this field. Also, they will meet others who share their views and get support or guidance.
Sergey Tokarev gives as an example the SHE is SCIENCE campaign started by NGO STEM is FEM. The project’s objective is to provide participants with information on the professional lives of 12 Ukrainian women scientists so they can use them as role models. Among them were two IT professionals: Kateryna Yushchenko, a programmer who developed a formal language for addressable computer programming, and Olga Perevozchikova, a scientist who helped develop state programming standards in Ukraine.
For schoolgirls in grades 12 through 16, STEM is FEM introduced free computer courses last year. The training programs were developed with the assistance of Oracle and in collaboration with the Swiss NGO Empowerment Lab. Data-driven web apps, app prototyping, and machine learning are all topics covered in the IT courses. The teachers are female IT professionals.
Sergey Tokarev underlines the importance of supporting IT through specialized communities like AI HOUSE in addition to IT education. This project brings together and arranges training for AI and ML professionals from Ukraine and beyond. Presently, there are around a third of women in IT leadership positions and 25% of women work in the IT industry.
As a result, providing girls and women with educational opportunities and niche clubs will significantly raise their representation in the sector. “After all, every schoolgirl who is interested in programming yet does not get any support becomes a part of the contribution to gender inequality, a shortage of qualified personnel, and a loss of profits for your company and the country’s economy in the future,” says Sergey Tokarev.
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