Mastercard helps Girls4Tech reach 100,000 more female students for STEM education

Rick Steves

“The lack of female leaders and role models in STEM is also a barrier and one of the key drivers behind the gender gap in labour market success.”

Mastercard has expanded its signature Girls4Tech, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education program in India in order to reach an additional 100,000 female students across the country by 2024.

Girls4Tech, with support from Mastercard Impact Fund and the American India Foundation, encourages female students to take up STEM education: this includes 14,400 students in Delhi as well as onboard 40 additional government schools where STEM courses will be offered to girls aged 8 to 14.

Launched in 2014, Girls4Tech’s program last year reached over 112,482 girls in urban and rural locations across six states in India, including 10,000 across Delhi.

Girls4Tech tackling deep-rooted social biases and expectations

Mathew Joseph, Country Director at American India Foundation said: “The under-representation and disparity of women in STEM are results of deep-rooted social biases, and expectations, influencing the quality of education they receive and the subjects they study. The lack of female leaders and role models in STEM is also a barrier and one of the key drivers behind the gender gap in labour market success. American India Foundation is committed to intervening measures that focus on attracting young girls to STEM subjects, and our partnership with Mastercard on Girls4Tech is one such step’’.

Subhashini Chandran, Vice President of Social Impact, Asia Pacific, Mastercard Centre for Inclusive Growth commented: “Even though more women are needed in the workforce, they continue to face several challenges, particularly in India’s semi-urban and rural areas. One is the prevailing perception that the tech industry is dominated by men. As a result, girls do not receive adequate encouragement to pursue STEM disciplines at school or university. Through the Girls4Tech program, which is based on global science and math standards and curated by engineers and technologists, Mastercard aims to support the Government’s vision to create more opportunities for women in the workforce by inspiring young girls and women to pursue STEM education which will help to prepare them for jobs of the future.”

Students can learn from anywhere in the world via Girls4Tech Connect

While women comprise over 43 percent of STEM graduates in India, only 14 percent go on to pursue scientific research in universities and institutions, according to research. Girls4Tech aims to narrow the gender gap.

Through the website Girls4Tech Connect, teachers and parents can download lessons to help students learn about STEM topics including encryption, fraud detection, data analysis, AI, cybersecurity, and digital convergence, from home or anywhere in the world.

The curriculum is also available in Hindi, English, Chinese, Malay, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Polish.

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