Cross-sector cooperation for transformative change in gender equality in STEM in Europe and Central Asia

September 14, 2021

Istanbul, September 13, 2021 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the Europe and Central Asia region will host a virtual conference STEM4ALL: Accelerating gender equality on September 17 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:50 p.m. Istanbul time (GMT+3). The event will bring together gender champions, policy makers, development practitioners and gender experts in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) to discuss viable and practical ways to align and coordinate efforts to dismantle the social norms that hold girls and women back from accessing opportunities in high-growth sectors such as cloud computing and artificial intelligence. All are welcome to attend.

The conference will be interactive with a series of presentations portraying the spectrum of systemic pressures and gender norms that derail women’s and girls’ STEM journeys at various points of their education and careers. Ms Asel Kenenbaeva, Deputy Minister of Digital Development of the Kyrgyz Republic will open the conference and will be keynoted by Ms Mirjana Spoljaric Egger, Assistant UN Secretary-General, Director of UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Europe and Central Asia and Dr Julia Lee, Executive Vice Provost and Lecturer at Harvard University. Speakers representing industry, academia, non-profits and UNDP from Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Montenegro, Turkey and the US will give their perspectives on the root causes of why fewer girls and women choose and advance in STEM industries and academia and participants will have the opportunity to pose comments and questions. There will also be a session dedicated to engaging in dialogue with grassroots advocates who are breaking down barriers for girls and women in STEM.

Pandemic conditions have given impetus to a transforming labour market, in which 90 percent of future jobs will require digital skills. The rapid adoption of technology provides immense opportunity, and efforts should be made to ensure women are included. The conference will initiate an ongoing open call for countries to join an action-based learning network and storytelling campaign of gender champions to continue the dialogue on advancing an inclusive STEM ecosystem.

Those interested in attending the conference can visit the Facebook Event Page to REGISTER. Join in the discussion using #STEM4ALL#UNDP4STEM hashtags. The event will be hosted in English and Russian languages.

For any inquiries and partnership opportunities about the event, please contact: