Mastercard in India has made a proud announcement in regard to the expansion of its signature Girls4Tech, STEM that is Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education program in India. It is being supported by the Mastercard Impact Fund. Also partnership with the American India Foundation (AIF) has supported this step. The expansion of the program aims to reach an additional 1 lakh female students across the country by 2024 to encourage them to take up STEM education. It will include approximately 14,400 students in Delhi as well as onboard 40 more government schools in which STEM courses will be offered to girls aged 8 to 14. Launched in 2014, Girls4Tech™ is an award-winning education program aimed at creating future problem solvers, incorporating Mastercard’s deep expertise in technology and innovation. This entire arrangement is aimed to enable girls to discover a range of STEM careers, such as fraud detective, data scientist and software engineer. In the spirit of Mastercard’s ethos of “Doing Well by Doing Good”, since 2015, more than 700 Mastercard employee volunteers hosted multiple Girls4Tech events across Pune, Vadodara, Mumbai and Gurugram and held India-wide virtual sessions reaching over 110,000 students aged 8-16. Starting as hands-on, in-person sessions run by employee volunteers, the program has since reached more students by extending access to its STEM curriculum through the program’s online resources.
Mathew Joseph, Country Director, 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 said, “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.”
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