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Community, mentorship, and career consultations: Serhiy Tokarev on the first STEM ecosystem in Ukraine

The goal of the project, STEM is FEM, is to ensure equal access for Ukrainian girls to continuous learning and opportunities in science and technology

Photo courtesy of Serhiy Tokarev
Photo courtesy of Serhiy Tokarev

Opinions expressed by Digital Journal contributors are their own.

STEM is FEM announced the creation of the first STEM ecosystem in Ukraine. STEM is FEM is a Ukrainian educational project initiated by Serhiy Tokarev, IT entrepreneur, co-founder and partner at Roosh, a Ukrainian investment group. The project’s goal is to ensure equal access for Ukrainian girls to continuous learning and opportunities in science and technology. The ecosystem will unite organizations, people, and ideas that promote education and careers in STEM — science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

As Serhiy Tokarev noted, the project was launched in 2019. At that time, the team’s goal was to encourage Ukrainian girls to explore science and technology: to explore all sides of the industries, introduce participants to women who have built great careers in STEM, and provide the girls with more information about possible career paths.

The STEM is FEM team implemented the art project SHE is SCIENCE. The art project involved Ukrainian illustrators who painted portraits of 12 famous Ukrainian female scientists. The paintings were presented at exhibitions in Ukraine and abroad, including UNESCO headquarters in Paris. The project launched an educational series “Urbanism” on the national edutainment platform Diia. Education. In 2023, STEM is FEM was honored with the title of “Honorary Ambassador of Ukraine in the field of scientific and educational diplomacy” by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.

“The STEM is FEM team realized that we have enough experience and expertise to achieve more ambitious goals and make systemic changes. That is why we are launching the first STEM ecosystem in Ukraine. Our goal is to become a guide for Ukrainian girls interested in STEM and dreaming of a corresponding career. In addition to educational events—webinars, lectures, and courses—we are launching a mentoring program to provide mentorship to those taking their first steps”, shared Serhiy Tokarev.

Photo courtesy of Serhiy Tokarev

“Over five years of activity, STEM is FEM has engaged more than 500 girls in our activities. Within our ecosystem, we plan to unite 1,000 young Ukrainian women this year, and by 2030, we aim to reach 10,000”, Elizaveta Korenko, the head of STEM is FEM, stated.

The ecosystem will consist of three communities:

  • STEM is FEM Community for girls aged 14-22. Its participants will have an exclusive opportunity to develop their hard and soft skills, receive mentorship support from the best representatives of the STEM field, as well as businesses and the government, and get consultations on employment and careers.
  • Alumni STEM is FEM Club for young women over 22 years old who have previously participated in project activities and now want to develop their expertise and become mentors for younger participants.
  • STEM is FEM Teachers Platform for teachers who teach STEM disciplines and aspire to improve their qualifications, deepen their knowledge of digitalization and soft skills, and receive mentorship support.

According to Elizaveta Korenko, the project is now focusing on establishing the functioning of all three communities so that they work steadily. The team is focused on regularly organizing meetings and providing girls with options for educational programs, internships, scholarships, and job opportunities.

As part of the ecosystem’s activities, the project team will invite Ukrainian and foreign experts and mentors ready to share their knowledge and experience with participants from all three communities. Additionally, the project will collaborate with educational institutions, businesses, and the Ukrainian government.

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Written By

Jon Stojan is a professional writer based in Wisconsin. He guides editorial teams consisting of writers across the US to help them become more skilled and diverse writers. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife and children.

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