Zhezkazgan, December 25, 2021 – More than 100 young women from Satpayev and Zhezkazgan towns had an opportunity to participate in a two-week online bootcamp organized by UNDP Kazakhstan Accelerator Lab. This pilot initiative (experiment) aimed to develop digital and leadership skills among women in the regions (remote areas) of Kazakhstan to improve their employment opportunities in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, mathematics).
During the two-week bootcamp participants were exposed to such topics as the foundations of programming, websites creation and social media marketing. The bootcamp also aimed to develop communication and leadership skills among the participants. The workshops were led by leading Kazakhstani experts in STEM education.
An increased number of women employed in STEM and digital fields leads to their active participation in the country’s economy. However, existing gender stereotypes and societal preconceptions act as barriers for young women to enter scientific and technological fields. Another important constraint is a lack of women-leaders in these fields who can lead by example and inspire others to start a career in technological and scientific fields.
UNDP Kazakhstan prioritizes the work in promoting gender equality and increasing rights and opportunities among women as it is a key factor to achieve Sustainable Development Goals.
Today only 30 per cent of women and girls globally choose to pursue education in a STEM field, while only 3 per cent of those specialize in information and communication technology (ICT) field.
In Kazakhstan, women are not sufficiently represented in STEM fields which are often higher paid compared to employment in other sectors. The share of women pursuing a degree in the ICT field is 32 per cent, whereas the figure for women participation in education and health sectors is twice as much.
UNDP is actively supporting Kazakhstan in its mission to achieve gender equality, especially in the area of providing women with more opportunities to participate in decision making, increasing their competitiveness in the labor market, and fighting gender-based violence.