Mastercard’s signature science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) program, Girls4Tech, has reached its initial goal of educating one million girls. The program has a new ambition to reach five million girls by 2025.
In the Middle East and Africa, Mastercard will be rolling out its signature program to new markets including Saudi Arabia and Morocco. Earlier this year, the company, in partnership with Expo 2020 Dubai, pledged to equip 2020 girls in Dubai with the skills required for careers in STEM. Through a dedicated local program, Girls4Tech will run until the end of Expo 2020 Dubai in March 2022.
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.”
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 other global and national organizations such as Scholastic, AIF, Major League Baseball, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), R&A, YCAB in Indonesia and Arus in Malaysia 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.
- Launching new programs like Girls4Tech 2.0 for girls ages 13-16, and Girls4Tech & Code, a 20-week coding program for girls 8-10.
- 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.