Global CSR Initiative

Mastercard’s Girls4Tech initiative brings real-world examples to curriculum

A quarter of the company’s employees have served as role models and mentors.

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By any measure, Mastercard’s Girls4Tech initiative is award-worthy in its strategic approach, its multifaceted execution and in its impressive results. That’s why it’s taken first place in the “Global CSR Initiative” category of PR Daily’s 2018 Corporate Social Responsibility Awards.

Girls4Tech (as the name implies) is designed to inspire young girls to consider STEM topics (science, technology, engineering and math) as an academic pursuit and career path. Rather than simply throw money at the program, though, Mastercard relies on employees to serve as role models and mentors and to incorporate real-life uses of STEM in the workplace into the curriculum (such as the role of science and math in Mastercard’s work on cryptology, fraud detection, digital convergence and big data). 

With a focus on girls in middle school (age 10–14), program leaders launched the program with a curriculum, training videos for instructors, templates for introducing the program to schools, and collateral material. Employee participation was catalyzed through articles and photos shared through the company intranet. 

In addition to serving as role models and mentors, several of Mastercard’s woman technologists welcomed girls participating in the program to their offices, serving as instructors in the field. The company partnered with several organizations (like UN Women Singapore and Be Better China) to develop curricula. 

The overall scope of Mastercard’s work to create and implement the program is breathtaking. So far it has reached more than 53,000 girls through more than 170 events in 21 countries. More than a quarter of employees have served as role models and volunteers. Nearly all of the girls participating agree that they learned something from the program and 96 percent expressed an interest in pursuing a STEM career. 

Congratulations to program leaders Susan Warner, Elena Rutherfurd and Lauren Ottulich.

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