Digital payments giant Mastercard has committed to train about one million girls globally to be prepared for employment in emerging fields such as artificial technology and cybersecurity.
The company’s education platform Girls4Tech aims to connect Mastercard employees with local students to mentor the latter and improve participation of females in STEM fields. It was first created in 2014 to inspire young girls to pursue STEM careers through an engaging curriculum built around global science and math standards. The program incorporates Mastercard’s expertise in payments technology and innovation, and includes topics such as encryption, fraud detection, data analysis and digital convergence.
According to a 2017 Global Information Security Workforce Study, women make up less than 15% of the professionals in high-tech jobs. Girls4Tech looks to address this gap.
Currently in its fifth year, the STEM program has reached more than 400,000 girls (ages 8-12) in 25 countries, more than doubling its established 2017 goal.
Girls4Tech was first launched in the UAE in 2015 and has seen many Mastercard employees acting as mentors to local students ever since. Continuing its momentum, Mastercard is now launching Girls4Tech 2.0., which is designed for older students (between ages 13 and 16 years).
“Driving inclusion, equal opportunity, and women’s empowerment are key priorities at Mastercard. Investing in a more inclusive future is not only the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do. Women are the driving force behind global economic growth, and their contributions will continue to elevate communities and society as a whole,” says Beatrice Cornacchia, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Middle East and Africa at Mastercard.
“Through our Girls4Tech program, we’re extending our commitment to the next generation of women leaders and developing a strong pipeline of talent by encouraging girls to embrace the subjects that will prepare them for the workforce of tomorrow.”