Inspiring Saudi girls to pursue STEM education

March 13, 2023 | By Maria Medvedeva
Since the launch of the pioneering Vision 2030 in Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom has embarked on an ambitious drive to enhance women’s role in all aspects of development. In line with its commitment to unlocking the full potential of the female economy, Mastercard is keen to empower Saudi women to boost their contribution to the country’s GDP and shape the future of the technology industry. And its efforts in this space start from an early age.

To mark International Women’s Day 2023, Mastercard partnered with the King Abdullah Financial District Development and Management Company (KAFD DMC) in Saudi Arabia to introduce its award-winning Girls4Tech program that seeks to nurture the next generation of female STEM leaders.

Girls4Tech connects the foundations of Mastercard’s business to the principles of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Created in conjunction with curriculum experts and Mastercard’s top engineers, the program is built on global science and math standards. The company, in collaboration with KAFD DMC, UN Global Compact, and UNESCO, will equip girls across the Kingdom with crucial technology skills, futureproofing them for success in a tech-driven world. The first cohort to participate in the initiative in Saudi Arabia will include female students from Misk Schools.

In further support of the program, UN Global Compact in Saudi Arabia, in partnership with the UNESCO Gulf States and Yemen Office, will run sessions exploring the topics of education and the workplace of the future.

Mastercard launched Girls4Tech in 2014 with the aim of inspiring girls aged 8-16 years to pursue STEM education and preparing them for careers in science and technology. Integrating real-life and hands-on activities for each concept, volunteers from the ranks of Mastercard employees deliver an interactive signature curriculum that incorporates the company’s in-depth expertise in technology and innovation. Girls4Tech enables students to discover a range of STEM professions, such as fraud detective, data scientist, and software engineer.

To date, over 3.5 million girls in 60 countries have benefited from the inquiry-based educational program that is available in 20 languages, including Arabic. Mastercard is halfway to achieving its goal of reaching 5 million girls globally by 2025.

Photo of Maria Medvedeva
Maria Medvedeva, Country Manager, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, Mastercard