Cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are two of the hottest technology fields today, with job opportunities continuing to grow across both.
However, worldwide, women make up less than 15 percent of the professionals in these high-tech jobs, and only one in 20 girls opt for a STEM-based career.
To help narrow the gender gap, Mastercard has been cultivating young technology enthusiasts as part of its signature education platform, Girls4Tech.
Currently, in its fifth year, this hands-on, inquiry-based STEM program has reached more than 400,000 girls (ages 8-12) in 25 countries, more than doubling its established 2017 goal.
As Mastercard marks the 5th anniversary of the program, the company builds on a successful track record of impact with an even more ambitious commitment to reach 1M girls by 2025.
Mastercard created Girls4Tech in April 2014 to inspire young girls to pursue STEM careers through a fun, engaging curriculum built around global science and math standards.
The program incorporates Mastercard’s deep expertise in payments technology and innovation and includes topics such as encryption, fraud detection, data analysis, and digital convergence.
“Today we celebrate the 400,000 girls who gained new STEM skills through the Girls4Tech program and learned that a future in technology can and should include them,” says Susan Warner, senior vice president of Global Volunteerism at Mastercard. “We hope to have sparked many future careers in STEM fields because gender parity in tech will ultimately make all companies – and our society at large – better and stronger.”
New Curriculum Unveiled
As technology skills continue to evolve, the Girls4Tech program is launching a new curriculum to give girls deeper exposure to the growing fields of cybersecurity and AI.
Furthermore, to continue the engagement with girls who have already participated in the program, Mastercard is launching Girls4Tech 2.0. Designed for older students, ages 13-16, the new program aims to keep girls excited about STEM throughout the critical high school years and also emphasizes important 21st-century skills – such as collaboration, creativity, and communication – as they work in teams to apply their technical knowledge to solve real-world challenges.
New Partnerships to Expand Reach and Narrow the Gender Gap in STEM Education
Girls4Tech works with a network of global partners to increase the reach and impact of its program.
Impact Highlights from the First 5 Years