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October 12, 2020

Mastercard’s Girls4Tech reaches 1 million girls in 30 countries

By Mohamed Dabo

Mastercard’s signature science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) program, Girls4Tech has reached its initial goal of educating one million girls.

Girls4Tech is a Mastercard signature education program launched to drive the interest of young girls in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The training content is designed to teach participants curiosity, develop an innovative mindset and take a smart approach to solving everyday challenges using technology.

Ultimately, the program aims to help bridge the skill gap in the technology industry. It is tailored for girls in primary school, using basic technology and a training kit that effectively drives learning and engages curiosity.

The program has a new and inspiring ambition to reach five million girls by 2025.

Stereotypes and cultural norms dampen girls’ interest in STEM

The program, which launched in 2014, offers activities and curriculum built on global science and math standards.

It incorporates Mastercard’s deep expertise in technology and innovation, enabling students to discover a range of STEM careers, such as fraud detective, data scientist and software engineer.

Starting as a hands-on, in-person session run by employee volunteers, the program has expanded into new topics such as artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, and enhanced access to its STEM curriculum through a digital learning experience, Girls4Tech Connect, which has been translated into eight languages.

Susan Warner, vice president of talent and community engagement and founder of Girls4Tech, said:

“Our goal is to build foundational STEM knowledge and develop critical 21st century skills girls need for their studies and career success. Our program sparks their curiosity in STEM and teaches them real-world applications of those skills.”

Moving the needle for girls in STEM

In 2019, Mastercard commissioned a study to understand gender and generational differences surrounding perceptions and attitudes of STEM-based topics and programs.

It also explored challenges and motivations students cited for pursuing college majors and careers path.

The study showed that females are less confident, receive less encouragement and need more mentors in STEM. Mastercard’s Girls4Tech program provides each of those elements to young women.

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