Parental Encouragement Driving Force For Girls In India To Choose Careers In STEM: Mastercard Research

February 19, 2018 | New Delhi

Tweet: Findings from Mastercard’s Latest STEM Research show that 15 is the critical age when girls decide to pursue STEM. Read more:

In India, parental encouragement (46 percent) followed by teachers and counselors (13 percent) are the key reasons for girls to pursue a career in STEM, reveals the latest Mastercard STEM research. Girls feel ‘most encouraged’ in following STEM-related careers when parents and teachers offer ‘hands-on help’ and ‘support’ such as assisting them with their homework and sending them to classes.

Priti Singh, Vice President, HR, South Asia, Mastercard, said “India will have the world’s youngest population by 2022 and the women of India play a definitive role in devising the future of our country. Our country's socio-economic growth is strongly correlated with its technological innovation caliber. We can certainly build a better future by nurturing the next generation of female scientists, technologists, and engineers by actively supporting all aspects of a women’s career trajectory, from education to career ascension.”

In India, 93 percent of 12 to 14-year-old girls surveyed consider STEM-related careers when they are younger, followed by 81 percent of girls aged 15-16 followed by 70 percent girls aged between 17-19. The STEM research further highlights girls are ‘very interested’ to enter STEM jobs from a young age, and ‘relevance to future plans’ (45 percent), ‘passion for the subject’ (42 percent) and ‘potential for higher pay’ (39 percent) are amongst the main attractions to choose careers in STEM.

In this demographic, Engineers (40 percent), Software Engineer (29 percent), Doctor (29 percent) and Scientists (24 percent) are the top-ranked professions amongst young girls. However, 38 percent of Indian teenage girls believe that they are ‘less likely’ than boys to pursue STEM because of the perceptions that it is a ‘male-dominated’ industry. Some of the reasons for the prevalence of this trend are that girls are generally ‘less interested’ in STEM (46 percent) and parents ‘do not encourage’ women to choose STEM (31 percent).

How India can increase STEM careers among young women:

  1. Encourage girls to take up STEM classes in school (49 percent)
  2. Change society perception of women in STEM (49 percent)
  3. Internship opportunities (49%), equal employment opportunities (46 percent)
  4. Strong representation of women (46 percent)

Mastercard has rolled out a series of a comprehensive suite of research assets and education outreach initiatives aimed at sparking and sustaining an interest in STEM amongst young girls. One such program is Girls4Tech, where Mastercard employees are engaged as role models and mentors, to showcase the company’s innovative payment technology to demonstrate the value of STEM-related subjects and careers through various fun, discovery-based exercises. Since its launch in 2014, Girls4Tech has impacted more than 30,000 girls across 17 countries, as part of Mastercard’s global commitment to reach 200,000 girls by 2020.

Mastercard has also partnered with various organizations and universities across the Asia Pacific to offer scholarships and internships for young women, including the Mastercard Scholarship for Women at Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), and Mastercard MBA Scholarships for Women at Singapore Management University (SMU).

The third edition of the Mastercard ‘Girls in Tech’ research was conducted via an online survey with 2,426 girls aged 12-25 years old in six countries (Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore) in Asia Pacific. The interviews were conducted in November and December 2017 with parental consent for minors.

About Mastercard
Mastercard (NYSE: MA),, 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 @MastercardAP, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

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