Sergey Tokarev’s Goal of STEM is FEM
Sergey Tokarev’s charity initiative STEM is FEM’s goal is to break the stereotypes. The summary results of the initiative are seven educational modules and over two hundred participants from all over Ukraine. STEM abbreviates Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Tokarev says the initiative was started to destroy the gender stereotypes in tech professions and establishing gender equality in the STEM fields.
STEM is FEM is conducting free educational events for Ukrainian schoolgirls to achieve the goals. According to Sergey Tokarev, the investor of Reface, after observing the serious gender imbalance in the Ukrainian IT sphere, the idea of the project was perceived. Tokarev says gender parity is crucial in the whole IT sphere. He pointed out that there are less than a third of female developers in the IT sector. The main reason for it is the stereotype that this field is only for men. Girls are less likely to choose these areas and that has to be addressed.
To combat the situation, STEM is FEM was created in the fall of 2019. The initiative encourages and motivates girls to select the STEM path.
What STEM is FEM Teaches the Girls?
STEM is FEM’s main activity is to provide free educational STEM-related modules for Ukrainian schoolgirls. The project held seven events in its first year. The girls had the opportunity to get familiar with fields like IT, robotics, biotechnology, mechanical engineering, and many more fields. Each module lasted two days. Female speakers from STEM fields shared their personal experiences and expertise with the girls during each module.
Creative tasks were assigned to the participants to consolidate the knowledge that they acquired. Disinfection robots, bike stations with additional functions, and benches to maintain social distance during the pandemic were some of the projects the girls designed over the past year.
In spring of 2020, some of the modules had to be shifted virtually due to the COVID-19 situation. Sergey Tokarev said in the offline modules, the participants visited the aviation museum, the genetic laboratory, the hydrometeorological institute, the dispatch service of Kyiv Electric Networks, as well as GlobalLogic, Beetroot, and a BMW car showroom. He said these practices will continue once the pandemic situation is under control.
STEM is FEM’s Success Formula
The main reason for STEM is FEM’s success is the project invites specialized industries specialists and motivational speakers as well. The girls have the opportunity to talk to successful women and be inspired by them. Sergey Tokarev said one of the most important ingredients to success is motivation and it is inspired in the schoolgirls through talks and communication with the successful women.
The project holds such events where invitations are sent to female scientists, ambassadors, ministers, etc. The project also holds workshops and webinars on various topics. With the cooperation of Goethe Institute, STEM is FEM recently opened the LitMINT youth reading club.
STEM is FEM’s Friends
In its young journey, STEM is FEM has made many friends. The US and Finnish embassies in Ukraine, the UN office in Ukraine and its divisions – UNICEF and UN Women, the Goethe Institute in Ukraine, America House Kyiv, as well as Beetroot, GlobalLogic, and BMW Ukraine are some of STEM is FEM’s partners. Sergey Tokarev said there is a global imbalance of gender parity in STEM. He said the only way to solve this problem is by joining hands. He is pleased to say that his project has received global recognition.