As part of Mastercard’s ongoing commitment to connecting women in Africa to the possibilities and opportunities that will enable them to make a living, follow their passions, and contribute to collective prosperity, Mastercard has rolled out its first digital Girls4Tech Connect programme in partnership with Junior Achievers Nigeria.
Launched in 2014, Girls4Tech offers activities and a curriculum built on global science and math standards. It incorporates Mastercard’s deep expertise in technology and innovation, enabling students to discover a range of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers such as fraud detective, data scientist and software engineer.
Starting as a hands-on, in-person session run by employee volunteers, the programme has expanded to cover topics such as artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, with enhanced access to its STEM curriculum through a digital learning experience – Girls4Tech Connect – as the COVID-19 pandemic led to a global surge in online learning.
“We’re incredibly proud of the strides that we are making with Girls4Tech Connect, in Sub Sahara Africa. The success of the programme in Nigeria last year, indicates that there is a strong need for this kind of intervention, where our future female leaders are given the opportunity to be exposed to new STEM career possibilities,” says Ifeoma Dozie, Director, Marketing and Communications, Mastercard Sub-Saharan Africa.
In partnership with Junior Achievers Nigeria, the Girls4Tech Connect programme will be hosted as a webinar and will take place on 11th, 18th and 25th of March 2021.
As part of the programme course work, participants will be gain valuable insight on the various STEM career opportunities in areas such as algorithms, digital convergence, and encryption, all of which are buzz words in the 4th Industrial Revolution.
Speaking on the partnership, the Executive Director, JA Nigeria, said “Girl empowerment is extremely important to us at JA Nigeria. In addition to the leadership and development programs we run aimed at empowering the girl child, we believe our girls should be equipped with technology skills and encouraged to pursue careers in STEM.
Women on average earn 25-40% less than men who do the same job and make up only about 22% of the Engineering and Technology University graduates each year. The combination of women earning less than men and the low rate of women in STEM leaves girls highly disadvantaged. Since it is clear that the future of work is filled with jobs that require digital and technical skills, it is very critical to reach girls at an early age so that they are empowered to have a successful future”.
Girls4Tech has already reached more than 1 million girls in 32 countries. Mastercard has committed to reaching 5 million girls globally by 2025. The award-winning programme is available in 14 languages.