Mastercard recently welcomed its first digital Girls4Tech Connect Marathon in sub-Saharan Africa to inspire and prepare 515 girls aged 7-12 to pursue careers in science and technology.
Launched in 2014, Mastercard’s Girls4Tech educational program centers on a unique and interactive science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculum that aims to reach five million girls worldwide by 2025. Based on global standards in science and mathematics, it incorporates the in-depth knowledge of Mastercard. expertise in technology and innovation, allowing students to experience a range of STEM careers, such as fraud detective, data scientist and software engineer.
Beginning with an in-person hands-on session led by volunteer employees, the program has expanded to cover topics such as artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, with enhanced access to its STEM curriculum through digital sessions and even a live experience. digital learning on its website, Girls4Tech – as the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a global increase in online learning.
As part of the Virtual Marathon, Mastercard volunteers from across the continent hosted a series of virtual Girls4Tech sessions at schools in South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya to help equip girls with the knowledge and foundational STEM skills they need for their studies and careers. .
“Global statistics show that 80% of jobs created over the next decade will require a combination of STEM skills. Yet only 30% of the science and technology workforce is currently made up of women,” says Kamini Redhi, vice president of marketing and communications for Mastercard, Sub-Saharan Africa. “At Mastercard, we are meeting this challenge head-on. Through Girls4Tech, our goal is to gain foundational STEM knowledge and develop critical skills girls need for education and career success. By providing real, hands-on activities for each concept, Mastercard volunteers show young girls that being friendly, enthusiastic, mathematical, artistic, scientific, logical, and even creative are all skills that connect to a STEM career.
The primary schools selected for this Girls4Tech marathon have prioritized STEM subjects as part of their curriculum and are excited to participate in the initiative.
Bongani Mgoqi, Principal of Tshedimosho Mahlaleng Primary School in Soweto, South Africa, says: “We have noticed that young girls still believe that careers in STEM are not for them. We appreciate the role companies like Mastercard play in giving girls from all walks of life the opportunity to change that narrative by exposing them to the diverse career opportunities available to them in STEM.
“Mastercard’s Girls4Tech program is a great initiative,” said Hannah Umoh, Program Manager at Akwa Ibom Government Primary School, Nigeria. “We want our daughters to have confidence in their ability to succeed in STEM-related careers and recognize that they can achieve anything. Our daughters were thrilled to participate in the program, and we believe that this type of exposure and encouragement is just what we need to develop the future female leaders of tomorrow. Miss Umoh added.
“Our girls are very excited to participate in this program and learn new things about STEM-related careers. Girls4Tech is an important initiative to expose our girls to the digital future,” says Daniel Muthee, Director from Woodcreek School in Nairobi, Kenya.
The award-winning Mastercard Girls4Tech program has already reached more than 2 million girls in 49 countries, including more than 2,500 in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana.