Mastercard Program Encourages Middle School Girls to STEM Careers

Frontier Middle School GIrls4Tech
Frontier Middle School Girls4Tech. Photo credit Wentzville School District

Middle school girls in the Wentzville School District are participating in a Girls4Tech program sponsored by Mastercard to drive interest and encourage young girls to consider STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) related careers.

Girls4Tech is a hands-on, inquiry-based program that connects the foundations of Mastercard’s business to STEM principles and shows students that it takes all kinds of interests and skills to pursue a STEM career. The curriculum is based on global science and math standards and was created in conjunction with Mastercard’s top engineers and technologists.

“The demand for tech-related skills in the workplace is high and will only continue to grow,” said Dr. Karen Hill, Wentzville School District Director of Professional & Program Development. “Women continue to be underrepresented in STEM careers, but with the help of Mastercard and programs like Girls4Tech, we’re working to open the door and share opportunities many young girls may not even know exist.”

Twenty-five female students have been selected from each of the district’s middle schools to participate in the half-day educational field trip where Mastercard employees serve as mentors and role models as they guide participants through various technology exercises. Students are invited to hone their skills at six stations set up at the Mastercard headquarters in O’Fallon: Cryptology, Big Data, Local Intelligence, Digital Convergence, Algorithms, and Fraud Detection.

“Mastercard believes that workplace diversity is critical in driving our business, and through initiatives like Girls4Tech, we are empowering and cultivating future leaders and technologists,” shares Amanda Gioia, Vice President, Global Communications, MasterCard. “While girls typically outpace boys in math in primary and secondary school levels, this often does not translate into careers in STEM. It’s critical that we share our passion for technology with girls who might not have considered or been exposed to these possibilities. It’s our mission to ensure that women have an equal and fair opportunity to grow and prosper in STEM careers,” she added.

Launched in April 2014, more than 12,000 girls have participated in Girls4Tech workshops in thirteen countries, with over than 800 employees acting as mentors and role models.