A socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions, congress, exhibitions, business, social and sporting, public, and cultural events.

The Roscongress Foundation – a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions, congress, exhibitions, business, social and sporting, public, and cultural events.

The Foundation was established in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential, promoting its national interests, and strengthening the country’s image. One of the roles of the Foundation is to comprehensively evaluate, analyse, and cover issues on the Russian and global economic agendas. It also offers administrative services, provides promotional support for business projects and attracting investment, and helps foster social entrepreneurship and charitable initiatives.

Each year, the Foundation’s events draw participants from 208 countries and territories, with more than 15,000 media representatives working on-site at Roscongress’ various venues. The Foundation benefits from analytical and professional expertise provided by 5000 people working in Russia and abroad. In addition, it works in close cooperation with 131 economic partners; industrialists’ and entrepreneurs’ unions; and financial, trade, and business associations from 70 countries worldwide.

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In the Vanguard of Technological Progress: Women in STEM
14 February 2019
16:15—17:30
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Working women is a significant resource for economic growth

The research shows that attracting more women to the job market can raise the GDP by USD 6 trillion just in the countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. If a company’s management involves a woman, its efficiency doubles — Marina Zhunich, Director for Government Relations, Google Russia.

Women’s potential in STEM is underused

If we take a look at students, there are only 34% girls among STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics – ed.) students; for postgraduates this number is 26%, and just 18% pursue a career in these areas — Ekaterina Inozemtseva, General Director, Skolkovo Forum.

ISSUES
Gender stereotypes have a negative impact on learning and career choices

If we compare boys and girls in the elementary, they do not care whether it is humanities or science. <...> It is the curriculum that starts segregating them. Separate gender-based technology classes and various clubs that are traditionally perceived as boys’ or girls’ ones — Ekaterina Inozemtseva, General Director, Skolkovo Forum.

If a girl is growing up in the situation when all women around her are into humanities or raise children or focus on their household, putting herself against the social group she is growing up in will be difficult — Ekaterina Inozemtseva, General Director, Skolkovo Forum.

We did a survey among our children and asked them: “Folks, what does an engineer or a scientist look like?” Most of them said it is a man who works with ultraheavy equipment — Aliya Maulesheva, General Director, UCMAS Mental Arithmetic Academy Russia.

Women tend to underestimate themselves

When a man applies for a promotion, he would do it when he meets 60% of the job’s requirements. A woman would apply, when on average she ticks 100% of the boxes. Compared to men, we underestimate ourselves by 40%, and that is a universal gender stereotype, which all of us are prone to — Marina Zhunich, Director for Government Relations, Google Russia.

Many girls fear math is complicated and science is not something they will be able to master in the future — Aliya Maulesheva, General Director, UCMAS Mental Arithmetic Academy Russia.

Women face employment discrimination

In Russia the gap in salaries is 26%. <...> And generally, around the world, in developed countries women earn 16% less than men — Marina Zhunich, Director for Government Relations, Google Russia.

The next critical point when a woman decides against becoming a STEM professional <...> is university graduation. She needs more support to cope with complications and stay — Ekaterina Inozemtseva, General Director, Skolkovo Forum.

Being a participant of numerous international forums, I see that everybody is surprised to see a tall Russian lady with a hair-do and make-up and on high heels: she cannot really be into physics — Tinatin Kandelaki, General Producer, Match TV.

SOLUTIONS
Building a positive image of a female professional

Those 18% that reach a professional career should become that positive image, that positive role model that will help future generations of girls to develop — Ekaterina Inozemtseva, General Director, Skolkovo Forum.

The more successful female role models we get, the more inspiring they will be for other women — Tinatin Kandelaki, General Producer, Match TV.

Creating targeted programmes to support women in STEM

If we turn to western universities’ experience, there is always a number of ways to impact, assist and support women who want to major in STEM. First of all, that would be creating awareness, conferences, symposia that will not let us forget — Ekaterina Inozemtseva, General Director, Skolkovo Forum.

Together with UNESCO, L'Oreal created a programme called ‘Women in science’. This initiative has been functioning in Russia for 12 years. Annually, we get over 300 applications. These 12 years gave us 115 scholarship winners, including 2 international ones — Georges Chichmanov, General Secretary, L'Oréal Russia.

We have a club called ‘Women in Mars’, it is a global community within the company. We also have ‘Women in Mars in Russia’, where we get to meet other companies — Svetlana Obruchkova, General Director, Royal Canin Russia and Belarus.

We have lots of programmes. We have an oil and gas service company that promotes female engineers and offers special employment terms to make work more comfortable under severe conditions, where it would be easier for men, but the company makes it more comfortable for women — Elizaveta Litvintseva, Gold Medallist, I Am a Professional Student Olympiad; Engineer, 1st Class, Lukoil-Engineering.

Developing mentoring practices

Individual mentoring support. Sometimes advice is needed, and it is better to seek for advice from someone who already took the path to become an engineer or a mathematician — Ekaterina Inozemtseva, General Director, Skolkovo Forum.

Building positive self-esteem

I'm remarkable is something we are proud of. It is a training course that aims to teach women to talk about their achievements. We do not speak about our achievements enough, we do not boast enough — Marina Zhunich, Director for Government Relations, Google Russia.

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS