How often do you hear an 8-year old talk about data processors or cryptology? During our Girls4Tech event, that’s all our young participants spoke about.
When Mansur first asked her 10-year old daughter Amaya to join a Mastercard’s Girls4Tech day, she quickly shook her head no, dreading the word tech would mean something boring. Now, Amaya, one beaming face among twenty other excited girls flocking across the Mastercard Vancouver office, is eager to solve scientific puzzles and talk through technical challenges the instructors put in front of them.
This was the first year Mastercard Canada organized a Girls4Tech event and the Vancouver office was the chosen one to host it, with coaches and instructors from Mastercard, NuData, and Brighterion.
Mastercard created Girls4Tech five years ago to inspire young girls to build STEM skills that will help them become the leaders of tomorrow. With our colleagues serving as role models and mentors, Girls4Tech events offer a signature STEM curriculum based on global science and math standards with real-life applications within Mastercard—algorithms, encryption, fraud detection, data analysis, digital convergence, and the power of our network.
The interactive, hands-on activities connect the foundations of our business to STEM principles and show girls across the globe that it takes all kinds of interests and skills to pursue a career in STEM. Each topic had its own station to show what skills they need to solve the challenges.
As the event came to an end and the girls picked up their completion certificates, Kassandra, age 10, gave the perfect summary of the event “You are learning things about using data and processors, but you do that with games – and you don’t even realize you are learning!”
Amaya, who wanted to be an artist before the event, said she now wants to use her creativity for things other than arts, such as designing software in the future.
For Melissa, 12-year old Rowan’s parent, this is a great opportunity to help her daughter understand that her skills can be applied to any field, including STEM careers. Women are still unrepresented in STEM careers; in fact, in BC, women only make up 18 % of the workforce in tech, far less than the national average. Events like Girls4Tech bolsters women’s confidence and their ability to follow any career path with the skills they already have, including a career in technology.
With Girls4Tech, Mastercard has reached more than 400,000 girls in 25 countries, surpassing our 2017 goal to reach 200,000 girls by 2020. Now we have a fresh new goal: to reach one million girls by 2025. If you know of girls age 8 to 12 who would be interested, you can help us reach our goal and encourage more women to take careers in STEM.
We want to give a shout out to all the girls who participated and did an amazing job, as well as to the volunteers at Mastercard who made it possible. Great job!
See you next year!
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