(Last Updated On: June 24, 2024)

Gender equality in science and technology is a relevant and significant topic that is receiving increasing attention. Despite efforts to combat gender inequality, women make up only a third of the workforce in these fields. This fact underscores the need for women’s professional achievements to be recognized and supported every day. Serhii Tokarev, an IT entrepreneur and co-founder of the investment group Roosh, noted this in his Facebook post dedicated to the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

Serhii Tokarev shared that companies in the Roosh ecosystem have made great efforts to achieve gender equality because it is the right thing to do. From a business perspective, this results in a lot of innovative solutions occurring in teams with an equal balance of men and women. Despite all the efforts at the business and government level, the global problem of gender imbalance remains relevant, and not only in the IT sector.

One of the significant projects aimed at popularizing science among Ukrainian girls is STEM is FEM. This educational project focuses on non-formal education, encouraging youth to pursue STEM careers and introducing women researchers. Through various activities such as educational modules, courses, and webinars, Ukrainian and international women experts share soft skills with girls that complement the hard knowledge acquired in schools and universities. One of the project’s goals is to create a community of like-minded people who will support and motivate each other.

One of the striking examples of participants in the STEM is FEM community is 18-year-old Yulia Tkachenko. In high school, she researched drones and proposed improving their performance in difficult weather conditions by adding a laser sight. In 11th grade, she, together with a professor at the National Aviation University, developed a radar station for the Ukrainian military. Currently, Yulia is studying at the Faculty of Economic Sciences of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy and is involved in an IT startup in the healthcare sector.


Another outstanding community member is Nadezhda Kasyanchuk, a final year master’s student at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poland. She studies medical biotechnology and works with genomic data to study microbiome changes in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Nadezhda has co-authored 11 articles published in Scopus-indexed journals and received four awards at international conferences in Germany, Slovakia, Moldova, and Latvia in 2023. In addition, Nadezhda teaches the course “Human Genetics and Society” at the Kyiv School of Economics.

As Serhii Tokarev notes, ideas like STEM is FEM play a critical role in promoting gender equality in science and technology. They not only implement educational initiatives but also lay the foundation for creating influential communities of women in these fields. The development of such initiatives contributes not only to a more equitable society but also to a more developed economy. According to the McKinsey & Company Global Institute, closing the gender gap can help boost a country’s GDP.

STEM is FEM is an educational project aimed at popularizing STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) among girls. It brings together like-minded people, creating a community where girls support each other, share ideas, and grow together. The project was initiated by Serhii Tokarev and received international recognition. In 2023, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine awarded STEM is FEM the title of “Honorary Ambassador of Ukraine in the field of scientific and educational diplomacy.”