Mastercard has announced its STEM program, Girls4Tech has reached its initial milestone goal of educating one million girls. The program has a new goal to reach five million girls by 2025.
The program, which launched in 2014, offers activities and curriculum built on global science and math standards. It incorporates the firm’s expertise in technology and innovation to enable children to discover a range of STEM careers, such as fraud detective, data scientist and software engineer.
The Girls4Tech workshops hosted across Kenya and Nigeria, have enabled numerous young girls to build the skills they need for STEM careers.
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 per cent of the professionals in these high-tech jobs, and only one in 20 girls opts for a STEM-based career.
“Through the Girls4Tech programme, we’re extending our commitment to Africa’s next generation of women leaders by equipping them with valuable skills that ensure more women have a voice in the development of the products and services of the future,” said Ifeoma Dozie, Director, Marketing and Communications, Sub-Saharan Africa at Mastercard.
The program has reached more children by expanding into new topics such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Cybersecurity, and extending access of their STEM curriculum through online resources on Girls4Tech Connect which has been translated into fourteen languages.
“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,” said Susan Warner, vice president of community engagement and founder of Mastercard’s Girls4Tech program.