First launched in South Africa in 2017, Mastercard's inquiry-based STEM programme Girls4Tech has so far reached more than 400,000 girls (ages 8-12) in 25 countries. The programme aims to inspire young girls to pursue STEM careers through a fun, engaging curriculum built around global science and mathematics' standards.
It incorporates Mastercard’s expertise in payments technology and innovation, and includes topics such as encryption, fraud detection, data analysis and digital convergence.
As Mastercard marks the fifth anniversary of the programme, the company builds on a successful track record of impact with an even more ambitious commitment to reach one million girls by 2025.
“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 programme, 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.”
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 programme, Mastercard is launching Girls4Tech 2.0. Designed for older students, ages 13-16, the new programme aims to keep girls excited about STEM throughout the critical high school years and also emphasises 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.