Women in Ukraine face a narrow pathway to leadership positions and getting a seat at the decision-making table is a challenge. With this challenge for the current generation comes a challenge for the next generation.  

“Having few women entrepreneurs, having not enough representation on boards or in governments or in school boards is a problem because women are not represented,” said Tawnia Sanford Ammar, Project Director for SURGe – Support for Ukraine’s Reforms for Governance.

“But it is also a problem because then we are not showing our daughters how things can be and what they can be.” 

SURGe works to improve everyday life for Ukrainian citizens through key governance reforms. The reforms are both inclusive and gender-responsive, with a focus on the needs of women and girls.

On September 26, Ammar spoke at the online Superwoman Conference in Kyiv. Ammar addressed the issues of female leadership and entrepreneurship on a panel about advancing women’s economic empowerment in Ukraine – organized by the Canadian Embassy.

Ammar said we must showcase women who are leaders in various industries to create role models for our next generation.

“We need to have women who are in politics, IT, finance … because if we don’t see them, we don’t imagine them,” said Ammar.

At the conference, she highlighted initiatives to encourage entrepreneurial spirit among women, such as through the SheExports Program in the Export Promotion Office. This program provides supports designed specifically for female entrepreneurs in Ukraine, developed under Alinea’s legacy project EDGE – Expert Deployment for Governance and Economic Growth.    

SURGe partners with a wide network of Ukrainian professionals to share their expertise with the Government of Ukraine. Priority areas for the reforms include economic growth, public administration, human capital and combatting corruption. You can learn more about SURGe here.