Mastercard Announces Regional Girls4Tech Marathon to Inspire Girls to Develop STEM Skills

As part of International Women’s Day, Mastercard continues its mission to support future women in technology and their entrepreneurial success by educating the next generation of leaders with its Girls4Tech program and providing digital and financial security tools to women-owned businesses across the region.

MIAMI, March 3rd, 2021 - As International Women’s Day approaches, Mastercard announces the region’s first Girls4Tech Marathon, a program to inspire girls to pursue STEM-related (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) futures, for the first time in a virtual series of simultaneous sessions to be held on Monday, March 8th in 15 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean.

According to, 80% of the jobs created in the next decade will require math and applied science skills, yet currently, less than 30 percent of the jobs created are held by women. Building foundational STEM knowledge and developing the critical 21st-century skills girls need for their studies and career success has never been more important.

The Girls4Tech is a program is centered on a unique, interactive STEM curriculum that aims to impact five million girls ages 8-16 in 30 countries by 2025. It incorporates Mastercard’s deep expertise in technology and innovation, enabling students to discover a range of STEM careers, such as fraud detective, data scientist and software engineer. Its curriculum has been translated into 14 languages and is based on global science and math standards that showcase payment technology, which company employees present as mentors. The program has expanded into new topics such as artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, and enhanced access to its STEM curriculum through a digital learning experience, Girls4Tech Connect.

As part of the region’s inaugural marathon on March 8th, Mastercard will hold a series of virtual and simultaneous sessions in 15 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and Venezuela.

"The decisions we make today will shape our reality in the years to come, which is why it is important to contribute to building a world with equitable opportunities that is increasingly driven by technology."
Janet Rivera-Hernández, Vice President of Communications for Mastercard Latin America and the Caribbean.

"Through our initiatives to support both young and professional women, we are modeling an inclusive ecosystem for girls and women to find opportunities and support, so they can later materialize and subsequently scale their projects,” commented Janet Rivera-Hernández, Vice President of Communications for Mastercard Latin America and the Caribbean.

This initiative is part of a series of actions and programs that Mastercard carries out in conjunction with leading associations in the region to promote the development of women and their entrepreneurship, such as:



  • LEADS Mujer: According to the World Bank, women own 50% of small, medium, and large companies in the region. For more than three years, Mastercard has carried out LEADS Mujer, a program in partnership with INCAE Business School to strengthen and reward the efforts of women entrepreneurs in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. The goal is to empower women entrepreneurs in the growth phase — i.e., companies with sources of income and a customer base that drive their business. In 2020, more than 1,700 women participated. Forty of them were selected to receive training that will take them to the expansion phase.
  • Virtual Accelerator 2.0: Women entrepreneur have been greatly impacted by the pandemic. That is why Mastercard, the INCAE Entrepreneurship Center, and the Inter-American Development Bank’s ConnectAmericas Women, launched a new edition of the Virtual Accelerator with two new programs aimed at helping women entrepreneurs innovate, strengthen their operations and finances, and grow in a sustained manner so they can reach new markets. Since its launch in May 2019, the Virtual Accelerator has helped close to 4,000 women entrepreneurs strengthen their knowledge in growth and internationalization strategies, marketing, operations, team management, corporate governance, and finance.



  • DigitAll: In April 2020, Fundacion Capital, with the support of Mastercard’s Center for Inclusive Growth (CIG), announced DigitAll, a regional project for Colombia, Mexico, and Peru, focused on increasing the productivity and financial health of strivers — small businesses with great development potential. This project provides tools to digitize businesses through partnerships with various stakeholders such as associations, financial institutions, and fintechs. This offers them the opportunity to recover and increase their productivity after the pandemic. It also gives them access to digital financial services and the adoption of good financial practices.
  • Start Path Empodera is a partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to promote women-led entrepreneurship and financial inclusion in Colombia. This program is inspired by Mastercard’s award-winning Start Path program, a global entrepreneurship acceleration model launched in 2014. The goal is for later-stage women-owned startups to build strategic networks, mentoring, and technical assistance.


In a world deeply affected by COVID-19, today more than ever, women must be protagonists in the reconstruction of the economy. According to a McKinsey report, Latin America could increase its GDP by 14% in five years just by incorporating women into the labor force, an amount estimated at US$2 trillion, which would represent an excellent contribution for the region in the post-pandemic scenario.

“Opening a path for women’s success in all scenarios is essential to ensure a rapid recovery of the economy in our region. We seek to guarantee women’s access to a myriad of digital technology alternatives that foster their development,” concluded Luz Gomez, Director of Mastercard’s Center for Inclusive Growth for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Media Contacts

Roberto Vila, Mastercard
+1 (305) 536 9497 |