Mastercard today announced the expansion of its signature Girls4Tech, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education program in India. Supported by the Mastercard Impact Fund, and in partnership with the American India Foundation (AIF), the expansion of the program aims to reach an additional 1 lakh female students across the country by 2024 to encourage them to take up STEM education. This includes 14,400 students in Delhi as well as onboard 40 additional government schools where STEM courses will be offered to girls aged 8 to 14.
In 2020-21, the program reached over 112,482 girls in urban and rural locations across six states in India, including 10,000 across Delhi. Even as science and technology continue to be the next frontiers of growth for nations and organizations, a significant gender gap remains in these fields.
According to the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2019-20, while women comprise over 43 per cent of STEM graduates in India, only 14 per cent go on to pursue scientific research in universities and institutions. The situation becomes more concerning considering the skills gap in the workforce and the increasing necessity for businesses to attract, hire, and nurture a diverse workforce.
To address the challenge and pique girls’ interest in science and technology fields, Mastercard partnered with the American India Foundation (AIF) to encourage girls to take up STEM education and prepare for jobs of the future, with an aim to narrow the gender gap. The program will benefit over 14,400 girls from 40 government schools in Delhi.