Press Release

International Day of the Girls in ICT: Ukraine joins by creating a comic

25 April 2019

25.04, Kyiv - on the occasion of the Day of Girls in ICT, CSR Ukraine, CSR Development Center jointly with UNFPA, United Nations Population Fund, have developed the first comic book to promote technology professions among schoolchildren under the STEM Girls initiative.

 

The International Day of Girls in ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) is celebrated worldwide every last Thursday of April. Ukraine joined the cause this year by developing a comic strip for girls.

 

The idea of ​​creating a comic emerged at a Hackathon for student girls on the topic "How to attract girls to technical specialties from the early age?", which took place in Kyiv in July 2018. As Microsoft's 2018 research has demonstrated, girls often pay less attention to studying STEM subjects through gender stereotypes. They lack successful examples of imitation and practical skills. As a result, only 23% of women work in prestigious and highly paid STEM professions.

 

"After conducting surveys among schoolchildren and students, we were impressed by the data we obtained about why they do not choose technical specialties. In particular, 23% of girls acknowledged that they were uncertain about this", says Nataliya Koshovska, Gender Program Advisor.

 

According to her, in order to ensure the country's competitiveness in the field of advanced technologies, it is necessary to have a large community of developers, and if it includes very few women, the country may lose half of prospective candidates. That is why it is extremely important to provide young girls with leadership skills and hands-on experience in the STEM in order to attract more women into the technology industry and enable them to become the drivers of social change.

 

"To overcome gender stereotypes in the professions, we have created a comic book telling schoolchildren and schoolgirls that girls can win in technology contests. We also present girls with role models - their peers, and we hope that many girls will be eager to be like Asya the IT Girl or Lisa the Engineer", said Maryna Saprykina, founder of the STEM Girls Initiative, Chair of the CSR Ukraine Board.

 

The storyline tells young readers about the adventures of four girls who will show by their own example, how to be a girl in the STEM. An IT company announced a competition in a small town among schoolchildren and schoolchildren: they need to create an invention that will change the world for the better. The winning team will fly to California to meet Elon Musk. Four girls of the 10-th form have joined their efforts to implement a project that will help to address the issue of a global scale. Their opponents are the most intelligent boys in the city, and among them the son of a maths teacher. Will girls win?

 

The comic is available at https://ukraine.unfpa.org/uk/publications/STEMcomics