Auckland, 30 July 2018 – Term three is only one week down, but a number of year 8 girls at Rotorua’s John Paul College have already been immersed in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects through Girls4Tech™, a global Mastercard initiative.

In its second year running in New Zealand, the Girls4Tech initiative aims to teach girls aged 10-13 foundation STEM principles to inspire them to study these subjects in later education. The Girls4Tech initiative aims to help challenge the gender biases and societal perceptions towards women in STEM.

“As a technology company, Mastercard is committed to supporting and encouraging young girls to develop their STEM skills throughout their school life as they become future leaders,” says Ruth Riviere, Country Manager for Mastercard New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

“As a society, we need to take positive steps to encourage girls and women to think seriously about STEM and the incredibly diverse opportunities it opens up, while continuing to tackle gender-bias that unfortunately still exists in the space. It was great to host Girls4Tech in Rotorua to see the girls enjoying the many pathways of STEM, which will hopefully encourage and provide them with confidence to pursue these subjects in high school and beyond.”

Recent Mastercard research about STEM barriers for girls and women found that 15 years old is the critical age at which girls decide whether to pursue STEM subjects or not.

At the event, Rotorua girls took part in the hands-on, inquiry-based program, combining educational and engaging activities. Activities included learning fraud detection techniques; discovering how digital convergence, Near Field Communications (NFC) and biometrics can simplify life. They also learned about how algorithms are everywhere and can help us solve all sorts of problems.

“We are grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Mastercard on this great initiative as it gave our girls the opportunity to learn from experts in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths in a fun and exciting way. We believe it is important that our young girls are equally equipped to pursue STEM subjects as their male peers,” says Patrick Walsh, Principal at John Paul College.

Over the past four years, 2,400 Mastercard employees and more than 50,000 girls across 21 countries have participated in the programme worldwide.

MP based in Rotorua Fletcher Tabuteau attended the event at John Paul College and presented certificates to participating girls.

“As the Deputy Leader of New Zealand First and Spokesperson for Commerce, it’s great to have been able to work with Mastercard since they first visited my Parliamentary office at the beginning of this year in Wellington, to bring this world-wide initiative to fruition today here in Rotorua.

“It’s exciting for the girls, at such a pivotal time in their lives, to be presented with a unique opportunity to be inspired to participate in these really important subjects that can be applied across a range of occupations.”

Based on global science and math standards, the curriculum was created in conjunction with top engineers and technologists at Mastercard to teach the STEM principles to girls and young women.

About Girls4Tech™
Launched in 2014, Girls4Tech™ is Mastercard’s award-wining, signature employee volunteer and education program aimed at creating future problem solvers.  Based on global science and math standards, the curriculum was created in conjunction with top engineers and technologists at Mastercard to teach the foundations of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) principles. Over the past four years, 2,400 Mastercard employees and more than 50,000 girls across 21 countries have participated in the program.

About Mastercard
Mastercard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry.  Our global payments processing network connects consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories.  Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone.  Follow us on Twitter @MastercardAP, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

Media contact:
Renee Ji
Acumen Republic on behalf of Mastercard
P: +64 9 354 0555
M: +64 21 294 2104