PURCHASE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mastercard today set a goal to reach 200,000 girls aged 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 U.S. alone, fewer than a quarter of STEM jobs are held by women, despite 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. Providing access to STEM principles is one way we can make a difference today,” said Susan Warner, senior vice president, internal communications, Mastercard. “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.
Partnerships Help Set the Path to 200,000
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 UN Women. The program is expected to benefit 30,000 girls across classrooms in China and 7,500 girls in Singapore in the 2017-2018 school year.
"Our work is focused on developing a pipeline of female talent in STEM. This means providing young girls with the opportunity to interact with female role models and enabling them to experience firsthand STEM careers at organizations across the country,” said Trina Liang-Lin, president, Singapore Committee for UN Women.
“We’re pleased to have the chance to promote STEM and have Girls4Tech be part of the Be Better curriculum,” said Alan Wang, CEO and co-founder, Be Better. “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.”
Running Start – International Day of the Girl STEM Marathon
Mastercard is organizing Girls4Tech workshops across 10 countries in the month of 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 over 1400 students. This adds to the more than 30,000 girls across 17 countries who have participated in the program over the past three years.
Extending a Commitment to Women’s Empowerment
Mastercard has a long-standing commitment to building, growing and supporting a culture of inclusion. Its efforts are focused to deliver a meaningful impact in three areas:
- People – Creating a dynamic, engaged and balanced workplace globally
- Society – Driving an inclusive approach to business
- Market – Bringing balance and equal access to products and solutions
These activities, including Girls4Tech and Project Inspire – a program implemented with UN Women to support entrepreneurs creating a better world for women and girls in Asia and the Pacific – led to Gender Fair recently recognizing the company’s real and substantial commitment to women’s equality.
Mastercard (NYSE:MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MastercardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.