STEM (Science, Technology, Maths and Engineering) remains an educational need that requires addressing in most countries across the globe, and in South Africa in particular.

Added to this is the ever-increasing gender gap when it comes to careers in STEM, which is something that Mastercard is acutely aware of, and is actively trying to tackle with their Girls4Tech platform.

Now in its fifth year, Girls4Tech has been able to reach more than 400 000 young girls interested in STEM, having launched locally in 2017 to make South Africa one of 25 countries that the platform has been made available in.

Focusing specifically on girls between eight and 12, now Mastercard has set out a goal of reaching one million girls with its educational platform by 2025.

“Driving inclusion, equal opportunity, and women’s empowerment are key priorities at Mastercard. Investing in a more inclusive future is not only the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do. Women are the driving force behind global economic growth, and their contributions will continue to elevate communities and society as a whole,” notes Beatrice Cornacchia, SVP of Marketing and Communications for MEA at Mastercard.

“Through our Girls4Tech programme, we’re extending our commitment to the next generation of women leaders and developing a strong pipeline of talent by encouraging girls to embrace the subjects that will prepare them for the workforce of tomorrow,” she adds.

Along with their new goal Mastercard is also expanding the Girls4Tech programme, with it now catering for older girls aged between 13 and 16, calling it Girls4Tech 2.0.

“The new programme aims to keep girls excited about STEM throughout the critical high school years and also emphasises important 21st century skills – such as collaboration, creativity and communication – as they work in teams to apply their technical knowledge to solve real-world challenges,” explained Mastercard in a press release about the initiative.

To learn more about the programme visit the Girls4Tech website here.

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.