Mastercard recently set a goal to reach 200,000 girls ages 10-13 around the world with its signature Girls4Tech program by 2020.
The commitment was made as the company kicked off a global marathon of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) workshops in celebration of the International Day of the Girl.
According to the World Economic Forum, women remain a minority in STEM-related careers. In the United States alone, fewer than a quarter of STEM jobs are held by women, despite women being more than half of the workforce.
“It’s critical that today’s students have access to the support and encouragement to achieve their dreams,” said Susan Warner, senior vice president for internal communications for Mastercard. “Providing access to STEM principles is one way we can make a difference today.
“When we first talk with the girls, they’re not thinking about a career in fraud detection, cryptology or technology, but when they leave, they’re thinking just that.”
Launched in 2014, Girls4Tech is Mastercard’s award-winning education program aimed at creating future problem-solvers. The curriculum was created in conjunction with top engineers and technologists at Mastercard to teach the foundations of STEM principles.
Following its debut in China and Singapore in 2016, the Girls4Tech program has returned for the second year in renewed partnerships with the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, Shanghai Be Better Education and the Singapore Committee for U.N. Women. The program is expected to benefit 30,000 girls in China and 7,500 girls in Singapore in the 2017-18 school year.
“Our work is focused on developing a pipeline of female talent in STEM,” said Trina Liang-Lin, president of the Singapore Committee for U.N. Women. “This means providing young girls with the opportunity to interact with female role models and enabling them to experience first-hand STEM careers at organizations across the country.”
Added Alan Wang, CEO and founder of Be Better, “We’re pleased to have the chance to promote STEM and have Girls4Tech be part of the Be Better curriculum. We believe empowered girls are the key to a brighter future. By providing innovative programs like these, we’re creating the next generation of problem solvers and change makers.”
A running start
Mastercard is organizing Girls4Tech workshops across 10 countries throughout October. From Auckland to St. Louis, girls will apply their own special skills, as well as math and science concepts they’re learning in school, to solve real-life challenges.
The data scientists and cybersecurity detectives of tomorrow will explore the world of big-data analytics and algorithms, encryption, cryptology, and biometrics to create and innovate technologies that are safe, simple and smart.
Through this month’s efforts alone, Mastercard will reach more than 1,400 students. This adds to the 30,000-plus girls across 17 countries who have participated in the program over the past three years.
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