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 20 percent of the professionals in these high-tech jobs and only one in twenty girls opts 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, which, they say, is designed to help young girls become the technology workplace leaders of tomorrow.
Currently in its fifth year, this hands-on, inquiry-based STEM program has reached more than 400,000 girls, aged 8-12, in 25 countries, and has now set itself an even more ambitious commitment to reach one million girls by 2025.
The programme incorporates Mastercard’s expertise in payments technology and includes topics such as encryption, fraud detection, data analysis and digital convergence.
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 programme incorporates Mastercard’s 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 programme 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.”
To continue the engagement with girls who have already participated in the program, Mastercard is launching Girls4Tech 2.0. for students aged 13-16
New Curriculum Unveiled
As technology skills continue to evolve, the Girls4Tech programme 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, aged 13-16, the new programme aims to keep girls excited about STEM throughout the critical high school years and also emphasises skills such as collaboration, creativity and communication as they work in teams to apply their technical knowledge to solve real-world challenges.
Girls4Tech works with a network of global partners to increase the reach and impact of its programme. In Ireland, in partnership with the golf organisation R&A, Mastercard recently launched an evergreen golf-themed version of the program, where girls gain exposure to STEM through a deeper dive into business and science.
To learn more about Girls4Tech visit the Girls4Tech.