According to a Washington Post article published on April 24th, Russia is exempt from the list of countries that have a shortage of women in STEM.
While America and a lot of Europe seems to have a continuing issue in the tech industry being a “man’s world”, Russia has seemingly ignored this stereotype and, according to the article, actually encourages tech from an early age in girls.
In a BBC report about the same subject, they said that the girls were fired up and determined to do well in STEM fields because they knew that their future careers depended on it. Because of parental encouragement to get into STEM, and the fact that, regardless of gender, “students are expected to do well in these subjects”, Russia has become very good at encouraging women to take up tech careers.
It seems that all they had to do was get past a stereotype.
In America’s past, believe it or not, coding was actually considered “women’s work”. Women computers worked at NACA (which would later be called NASA) before the computers you and I know so well today were used to help take people into outer space. Women also worked the FORTRAN, the IBM device created in the late 50’s.
That, of course, would change with the passage of time. Now we’re in the position we are in today where, unfortunately, sometimes we’re still told we can’t do it, and negative stereotypes against a women’s abilities in STEM fields do still exist.
In Russia, it’s a cultural thing, too. It dates back to the Soviet Union, and in that time, science was named a national priority. Because of this, the educated needed was open and given to everyone.
Russia may be in some hot water politically and people in the US might not be fans (what with his relationship with President Trump and the government’s banning of pacifist religions despite their “freedom of religion” laws), but in this case, maybe the US could take some notes.