Sergey Tokarev from Roosh: More women reach Ukrainian IT

When it comes to IT, no matter what gender prevails, male or female. What makes the industry grow and develop is the engagement of real professionals. Today, the number of women in the IT sector is up 25% of all Ukrainian experts. Among the leadership in IT companies, the third part is made by women. But these numbers state a need for more women involved in the industry. Sergey Tokarev, the IT entrepreneur, Founding Partner Roosh, and Reface investor, shared how to help Ukrainian women reach IT.

Sergey Tokarev from Roosh: More women reach Ukrainian IT

Women have the potential to become good specialists in IT, but some factors affect their willingness to move forward. According to Sergey Tokarev, the first factor is associated with the long-time-existing stereotype that it is a “male” profession. As a result, they often hear that they can try to become only an HR or QA tester. Others state that women enter IT to find their life partner.

This frightens them to start making a career in this field. And the industry loses potential. But on the other hand, IT currently suffers from a lack of specialists: in particular, in data science, AI, and ML.

“To solve this problem, it is necessary to create thematic clubs and communities. This way, every girl interested in IT can find a role model in this profession and can turn to like-minded people for advice or support,” says Tokarev.

Support from industry leaders

In order to help girls make their dream in IT come true, NGO STEM is FEM launched an initiative SHE is SCIENCE. The project participants could learn about the career of 12 outstanding Ukrainian female scientists. Among them were some IT specialists: Olga Perevozchikova, a scientist who was engaged in creating state programming standards in Ukraine, and Kateryna Yushchenko, a programmer who developed a formal language for addressable computer programming.

According to Sergey Tokarev, STEM is FEM allows girls to learn more about IT by delving them into practice. Last year, the initiative launched free IT courses for girls aged 12-16 in partnership with the Swiss organization Empowerment Lab and with the support of Oracle. According to these courses, girls can attend classes on App prototyping, Data-driven web apps, and Machine learning. The mentors of the courses were women in IT.

IT education for girls

Once schoolgirls get interested in IT professions, they must be provided with a proper education. Sergey Tokarev exemplifies a technological institution SET University created last year. It launched courses in cybersecurity for teenagers, both boys and girls. The latter made up only 30% of the total number of participants. The investor notes that there is indeed a great demand for IT among girls. In order to motivate them, the university plans to open scholarship programs for girls.

According to Sergey Tokarev, alongside education, it is important to support girls in the process of building a career. Professional communities are one of the best options to consider. For example, AI HOUSE is an initiative that unites Ukrainian and foreign AI and ML experts and organizes training for them. The businessman believes that giving girls a proper education will increase their industry percentage significantly.