Auckland, New Zealand, 17 October 2017 – As term four begins, an Auckland school is ramping up its focus on STEM with Girls4Tech™, a global Mastercard initiative, to encourage girls to get involved in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The Girls4Tech initiative, which launched in 2014, aims to teach girls aged 10-13 the foundations of STEM principles, and has the goal of reaching 200,000 girls around the world by 2020.

Girls4Tech includes a series of global workshops hosted in celebration of the International Day of the Girl on 11 October, with New Zealand getting involved one week later due to the school holidays. This year Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Primary School in Auckland is participating by hosting a workshop on Wednesday 18 October.

From Auckland to Shanghai, girls will apply their own skills, as well as math and science concepts they’re learning in school to solve real-life challenges.

“As a technology company, Mastercard knows that encouraging more girls and young women to pursue STEM careers starts early through great support and opportunities. By taking part in fun initiatives like Girls4Tech, girls can see the potential of studying STEM as they go into high school and beyond,” says Peter Chisnall, Country Manager for Mastercard New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

According to the World Economic Forum, women remain a minority in STEM-related careers. The 2017 Girls in STEM research by Mastercard found 30 percent of 17-19 year old girls in Asia Pacific said they will not choose STEM jobs, despite studying a STEM subject.

“It is clear we need to take positive steps to encourage girls to think seriously about STEM. In New Zealand we have taken great strides to promote gender equality, but there is still more to be done. It would be great to see even more New Zealand schools take part in the Girls4Tech program next year,” says Chisnall.

The workshops explore a range of STEM topics including big-data analytics and algorithms, encryption, cryptology, and biometrics to come up with solutions and innovate technologies that are safe, simple and smart.

In Asia Pacific, more than 210 Mastercard employees hosted over 680 girls at Girls4Tech workshops held across the region, including Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Primary School in Auckland.

“We are thrilled to be part of the Mastercard Girls4Tech initiative. It’s really exciting for our girls to get a glimpse into how Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths are used in the real world. It is also lovely for them to be mentored by people in the industry,” says Mary Cameron, Team Leader at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Primary School in Auckland.

Through this month’s efforts alone, Mastercard will reach over 1400 students. This adds to the more than 30,000 girls across 17 countries who have participated in the program over the past three years.

“By getting involved in innovative programs like these, we’re helping pave the way for girls to be the next generation of problem solvers and change makers,” says Chisnall.

About Girls4Tech™ 
Launched in 2014, Girls4Tech™ is Mastercard’s award-wining, signature employee volunteer and education program aimed at creating future problem solvers.  Based on global science and math standards, the curriculum was created in conjunction with top engineers and technologists at Mastercard to teach the foundations of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) principles. Over the past three years, 1,700 Mastercard employees and more than 30,000 girls across 17 countries have participated in the program.

The second edition of the Mastercard ‘Girls in Tech’ research was conducted via an online survey with 2,270 girls aged 12-25 years old in six countries (Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore) in Asia Pacific. The interviews were conducted in December 2016 with parental consent for minors.

The survey and its accompanying reports do not represent Mastercard’s financial performance.

 

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