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 20 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. Currently in its fifth year, this hands-on, inquiry-based STEM program has reached more than 400,000 girls (ages 8-12) in 25 countries, more than doubling its established 2017 goal Today, as Mastercard marks the 5th anniversary of the program, 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 program incorporates Mastercard’s deep 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 program 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.”
New Curriculum Unveiled
As technology skills continue to evolve, the Girls4Tech program 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, ages 13-16, the new program aims to keep girls excited about STEM throughout the critical high school years and also emphasizes 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.
New Partnerships to Expand Reach and Narrow the Gender Gap in STEM Education
Girls4Tech works with a network of global partners to increase the reach and impact of its program.
Impact Highlights from the First 5 Years
“Teachers and students alike are eager for resources that help connect curriculum standards to the real world of today, and tomorrow.” says Ann Amstutz Hayes, senior vice president of Scholastic National Partnerships. “We are pleased to be collaborating with Mastercard on this important program to increase awareness of STEM career opportunities for all students and help drive an understanding for the importance of creative thinking and problem solving across the curriculum and throughout life.”
“Mastercard’s Girls4Tech program has been a huge benefit to our Youth Academies, especially in giving our kids opportunities beyond the playing field,” says Del Matthews, vice president of Baseball Development, MLB. “Part of our mission with the Youth Academy network is to open up worlds of possibilities, and Girls4Tech is something that can help them prepare for a great variety of careers, in baseball and elsewhere. We are excited to continue this partnership into 2019.”
To learn more about Girls4Tech, please visit the Girls4Tech website.
 Cybersecurity Ventures research, March 2019
 U.S. Department of Commerce, Women in STEM 2017 Update; World Economic Forum, Gender Parity and Human Capital Report 2017
Mastercard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. Our global payments processing network connects consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MastercardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.