Girls need more role models in STEM sectors
This is the title of a press release by Mastercard. For some time they are very involved with girls education in technology related areas which can be summed up as science, technology, engineering and maths ( STEM). It is one of the main topics that I am very interested as well. Mastercard has a program called Girls4Tech. It is an education program launched to drive the interest of young girls in STEM.
The training content is designed to teach participants curiosity, develop an innovative mindset and take a smart approach to solving everyday challenges using technology. Ultimately, the program aims to help bridge the skill gap in the technology industry. It is tailored for girls in primary school, using basic technology and a training kit that effectively drives learning and engages curiosity.
While Mastercard has operated Girls4Tech across the globe since 2014, Youth for Technology Foundation joined as a partner for the first launch in Sub-Saharan Africa, starting in Nigeria and Kenya in late 2017.
According to the World Economic Forum, women remain a minority in STEM-related careers. In the United States alone, fewer than a quarter of STEM jobs are held by women, despite women being more than half of the workforce.
I believe that the situation is even worse in Turkey. We must change this for the better. We must convince and enable more girls to seek out careers in fields related to STEM. In China, the Girls4tech program benefitted 30,000 girls in China and 7,500 girls in Singapore in the 2017-18 school year.
I hope that the same program would be started in Turkey too.
Coming back to the title, Mastercard found out in their research that most of the girls who are not in STEM told that they would have chosen STEM education if they would have more role models.
We need to tell inspiring stories of women in STEM, much more than we are currently doing. It is very sad if a girl can not think herself as one of the best coders or mathematicians in the world. It is our duty to make her feel courageous while dreaming about being the next Nobel Award winner in Physics.
This is not just a nice thing to have, it is a must. Both because it is every child’s right to be able to dream whatever they want when they will grow up but also because we need more women in STEM if we want to develop further than where we are now.