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% of the professionals in these high-tech jobs, and only 1 in 20 girls opts for a STEM-based career.
To help narrow the gender gap, global payments & technology company, 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 programme has reached more than 400,000 girls (aged 8-12) in 25 countries, more than doubling its established 2017 goal.
Girls4Tech was first launched in the UAE in 2015, and has seen numerous Mastercard employees acting as mentors to local students ever since. As Mastercard marks the fith 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.
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 deep expertise in payments technology and innovation, and includes topics such as encryption, fraud detection, data analysis and digital convergence.
“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.”