Our AP region is fast becoming a global hub of technology and innovation and offers an exciting range of career opportunities related to STEM fields. However, women across this region are consistently underrepresented in STEM careers. Our Girls in Tech research revealed that the top reasons why girls (ages 12-19) are not considering STEM careers relate to ability and perception of gender bias.
According to this research, it boils down to interest levels and performance – girls find STEM subjects difficult to study (40 percent) and say they have little/no interest in the subjects (32 percent). In addition, the research found that while girls recognize that STEM careers are financially and intellectually satisfying, they perceive these subjects and careers as not being ‘creative.’
That’s where our employees, who live and breathe science, technology, engineering and math every day, have a role to play.
Algorithms, data analytics, asymmetric encryption, digital convergence and detective work – these are not words commonly associated with our company. But that is indeed our business.
Girls4Tech is our award-winning, signature education program that showcases our payments technology and engages our employees as STEM role models and mentors. This hands-on, inquiry-based program connects the foundations of our business to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) principles and is based on global science and math standards. But the best thing about the program? It shows that being friendly, enthusiastic, mathematical, artistic, scientific, logical and yes, even creative – are all skills that connect to a STEM career.
Launched two years ago, more than 5,000 girls and 1,000 employees have participated in the program in 11 countries (so far). In addition, we recently announced an agreement with Be Better to bring the Girls4Tech™ program to an estimated 50,000 young girls in China and an additional 4,500 girls in Singapore in 2016/17, thanks to a recent partnership with UN Women.
By connecting our global technology to STEM standards in a fun, engaging way for girls, we hope our efforts can help spark a future STEM career and inspire more young girls to develop their STEM skills and build the future generation of problem solvers. After all, girls just want to have…STEM.