Girls embracing technology subjects through Mastercard Girls4TechJuly 26, 2019 | Auckland, New Zealand | By Barkha Patel
Year 5 and 6 girls at Freemans Bay School kicked off term three learning fraud detection techniques; discovering how digital convergence, Near Field Communications (NFC) and biometrics can simplify life, and uncovering how algorithms are everywhere. The day of hands-on activities was part of the Mastercard Girls4Tech programme, now in its fifth year in New Zealand.
A global program, Mastercard Girls4Tech aims to challenge the gender biases and societal perception towards women working in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) by teaching girls aged 10-13 foundation STEM principals to encourage them to study these subjects in later education.
“Our vision for learning at Freemans Bay School is to create a stimulating, inclusive learning environment which empowers, engages and enriches learners to prepare them for their future world,” says Freemans Bay School principal, Sandra Jenkins.
“We want to empower learners to be collaborative, critical thinkers and problem-solvers, engage learners through active involvement and powerful learning partnerships and enrich learners through personalizing learning, inquiry and a wide curriculum. Mastercard’s Girls4Tech program will spark learners’ interest in STEM that could motivate them to consider careers in engineering and technology and equip them with creative problem-solving skills now and in their futures.”
According to the World Economic Forum, women remain a minority in STEM-related careers. Mastercard’s 2017 Girls in STEM research found 30 percent of 17 to 19-year-old girls in Asia Pacific said they will not choose STEM jobs, despite studying a STEM subject.
Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye attended the event at Freemans Bay School and presented certificates to participating students.
Ms Kaye said with digital disruption being the new normal, it is critical the experiences students have at school reflect and keep pace with the fast-changing world they will encounter.
“It’s so encouraging to see companies such as Mastercard step up and support our future female leaders in a real way at such a critical time in their development. The girls I saw today were excited and inspired to participate in STEM subjects which can be applied across a number of roles and industries.”
The inquiry-based STEM program has an ambitious commitment to reach one million girls globally by 2025. To date it has reached more than 100 girls across New Zealand, and more than 430,000 girls, in 25 countries, more than doubling its established 2017 goal.
“As a technology company, Mastercard feels it is important to actively challenge the gender biases and societal perceptions towards women in STEM and ensure they are given equal opportunity to their male peers,” said Ruth Riviere, Country Manager, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, Mastercard.
“And as a woman working in STEM, encouraging young women to see the diverse opportunities it opens up is something particularly close to my heart.”
The STEM curriculum was designed by Mastercard employees, engineers and technologists, to teach girls the principles and showcase science and math as well as introduce terms such as algorithms, encryption, biometrics, big data and detective work.
Launched in 2014, Girls4Tech™ is Mastercard’s award-wining, signature employee volunteer and education program aimed at creating future problem solvers. Based on global science and math standards, the curriculum was created in conjunction with top engineers and technologists at Mastercard to teach the foundations of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) principles. Over the past five years, more than 3,500 Mastercard employees and more than 430,000 girls across 25 countries have participated in the program.
About Mastercard (NYSE: MA)
Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.