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Encouraging STEM to Promote Women in Technology

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Lisa Yates, Jen Millard, Kelly Buchanan at the Women 2.0 event

It’s not a secret – the world is becoming more and more dependent on technology each day.  Apps, tablets, mobile phones, etc…they’re all rapidly evolving to become key ways that we get things done in our lives.

As someone who studied computer science in college, I’m not surprised at all by these changes.  I welcome them – and the opportunity to continue to evolve technology so it continues to be relevant and useful on a wide scale.

What I’m most worried about, though, is having the people to fill the technology jobs that we’ll have in the future.  Colleges and universities are seeing a decline in enrollment in STEM-based majors, meaning that we’ll be less prepared to fill the jobs that are coming our way.   Even worse, the number of young women going into these fields is at an all-time low…as a woman, that scares me.  We need to have a voice in the products and solutions that are being created – we’re going to be using them in the future!

That’s why at MasterCard, we want to help make a difference in this space.  We want to help educate young women about the opportunities in the technology space – because there are a lot, and the opportunities are only growing for women and men who are talented in the skills needed.

Last week, we’ve taken some steps to make a difference with Women 2.0, an organization working to raise the visibility of STEM careers in conjunction with a Finnovate event in San Francisco.  We brought together women who are entrepreneurs and thought leaders in this space to address this challenge head-on, and help identify the responsibilities that each one of us has (both personally and as a company) to make a difference in this space.

We’re doing a lot more in this space – developing programs that teach kids about technology, as well as the types of skills that are needed for careers like these.  Women from MasterCard are talking with young women in our community to help them understand the opportunities in front of them.   Our work with Women 2.0 is just the beginning of our work in this space – stay tuned for more!