Mastercard adds AI, cybersecurity to girls’ STEM education program

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Mastercard is expanding its Girls4Tech education outreach program with new partnerships, and tightening the focus on subjects broadly in demand in the payments industry.

Girls4Tech, launched in 2014, will expand its curriculum this year to include artificial intelligence, privacy and cybersecurity in programs to drive greater engagement with girls studying STEM subjects, Mastercard said in a Tuesday press release.

The program has reached more than 400,000 girls in 25 countries over five years, and Mastercard now aims to reach 1 million girls by 2025, according to the release.

A new feature of the program is retooled materials targeting students ages 13 to 16, to engage and continue girls’ involvement in science and technology subjects through high school. Examples include hands-on events to devise solutions to challenges around gender equality, smart cities, sustainability, health and education access, the release said.

Corporate partners supporting the retooled program include Scholastic, American Airlines and Major League Baseball, among others, according to the release.

“We hope to have sparked many future careers in STEM fields, because gender parity in tech will ultimately make all companies—and our society at large—better and stronger,” said Susan Warner, senior vice president of global volunteerism at Mastercard, in the release.

Earlier this month Mastercard joined Microsoft and Workday in a push to recruit more students and young adults to enter careers in cybersecurity, where there is a huge gap in trained personnel under the age of 30, according to Mastercard.

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