Mastercard (NYSE: MA) today announced its signature STEM program, Girls4Tech, reached its initial milestone goal of educating one million girls. So inspiring has this programme been that the target has been accelerated to one reaching five million girls by 2025.
The technology company’s signature programme, which launched in 2014, offers activities and curriculum built on global science and math standards (STEM) – and incorporates MasterCard’s deep expertise in technology and innovation – to enable children to discover a range of STEM careers, such as fraud detective, data scientist and software engineer.
The Girls4Tech workshops hosted across Kenya and Nigeria, have inspired numerous young girls to build the skills they need for STEM careers. “Through the Girls4Tech programme, we’re extending our commitment to Africa’s next generation of women leaders by equipping them with valuable skills that ensure more women have a voice in the development of the products and services of the future,” says Ifeoma Dozie, Director, Marketing and Communications, Sub-Saharan Africa at Mastercard.
Started as a hands-on, in-person session run by employee volunteers, the programme has reached more children by expanding into new topics such as AI and Cybersecurity, and extending access of their STEM curriculum through online resources on Girls4Tech Connect which has been translated into fourteen languages.
Susan Warner, vice president of community engagement and founder of Mastercard’s Girls4Tech program 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.”
How Girls4Tech reaches future STEMinists
- Announced a new partnership to create a Girls4Tech digital curriculum with Discovery Education — the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms — to reach 1.6 million girls by 2023.
- Partnering with scalable organisations such as AIF, Be Better China, Discovery Education, Major League Baseball, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), R&A, Scholastic and YCAB in Indonesia to further scale the program and offer STEM skills in unique ways to girls ages 8-16.
- Adding new curriculum to give students deeper exposure to the growing fields of cybersecurity and AI.
- Extending programs, Girls4Tech 2.0 for girls aged 13-16, as well as a 20-week coding program, Girls4Tech & Code for girls 8-10.
Moving the needle for Girls in STEM
In 2019, Mastercard commissioned a study seeking to understand gender and generational differences surrounding perceptions and attitudes of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). In addition to STEM-based topics, the survey investigated challenges and motivations to pursing 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. That women consistently view themselves as less intelligent than their peers and less confident in STEM-specific subjects (although the gap is narrower among Gen Z females).
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