Sergey Tokarev shares strategies to increase the presence of women in the Ukrainian IT industry
According to Sergey Tokarev, today, the proportion of women among IT specialists in Ukraine is approximately 25%. This number could be better, especially given that only about a third of IT executives are women. Therefore, further efforts are needed to increase the representation of women in the Ukrainian IT sphere.
Sergey Tokarev, a well-known IT entrepreneur, founding partner of Roosh, and an investor in Reface notes that entering the IT industry often causes fear and embarrassment for many women because of the widespread stereotypes about it as an exclusively “male” field. Women often face the belief that their presence in the IT field is only related to the intention to find a husband, or their opportunities are limited to the roles of a tester, HR specialist, or QA engineer.
According to Sergey Tokarev, these stereotypes significantly undermine women’s confidence, making them insecure about their ability to succeed in the IT industry. They worry about the possibility of being accepted in a team, getting equal opportunities for career growth, and being recognized in the workplace.
Sergey Tokarev calls for changing this negative dynamic and creating a supportive environment for women who want to enter the IT industry. It is necessary to actively overcome stereotypes and convince women that the IT industry offers a wide range of opportunities and professional growth for everyone, regardless of gender.
A key factor is changing public opinion about women in IT. It is essential to educate and inform people about the achievements and contributions of women in the IT field, as well as the variety of professions available in this field. This will help break stereotypes and inspire a new generation of women to rise to the challenge and become part of a thriving IT community.
To inspire girls to a career in the STEM field, the initiative “SHE is SCIENCE” from the public organization “STEM is FEM” was presented. The project participants had the opportunity to get acquainted with the experience of 12 Ukrainian scientists, including women IT specialists.
According to Sergey Tokarev, when a schoolgirl chooses the preferred direction in the field of tech, which has the greatest interest for her, higher education becomes a decisive factor. He notes that getting a higher education in the IT field is an important step towards professional success and achieving your career goals.
In addition, higher education in the IT field provides students with the opportunity to interact with experienced teachers and industry professionals. They can receive valuable guidance and advice from experts that will help them better understand the industry, learn about cutting-edge technologies and innovations, and work on the same project with people with similar interests.
Therefore, according to Sergey Tokarev, the choice of a specific field of IT and subsequent higher education in this field play an essential role in building a successful career in the field of information technology. This allows young professionals to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills, establish valuable connections and unlock their potential in a dynamic and promising IT industry.
Over the summer, SET hosted a cybersecurity course for teenagers. Girls made up 30% of the participants. In the future, the university plans to launch scholarship programs for girls.
According to Sergey Tokarev, the development of educational opportunities for girls has the potential to increase their representation in the industry. Lack of support for girls interested in coding leads to gender inequality issues, a shortage of skilled workers, and a loss of opportunities for companies and the economy. Creating suitable conditions and incentive programs is an important step.