Lack of encouragement a barrier to girls pursuing a career in Science & Math; New study suggests

MasterCard launches "National Girls Learning Code Day" in Canada  

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TORONTO, Sept. 19, 2014 /CNW/ - MasterCard today announced it is launching a national campaign to bring more girls and women into the tech field. In partnership with Ladies Learning Code, the cross-country program will see more than 700 girls (ages 8 – 13) and their parents take a free, 6-hour introductory coding class, held simultaneously across the country on November 8th.

The University of Waterloo, another partner, will also participate by hosting a Python-language coding workshop aimed at students who are in non-STEM disciplines in an effort to introduce a variety of students to coding in a supportive and female-friendly environment. In addition, MasterCard is working with the Centre for Education in Math and Computing (CEMC) and the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo to introduce a first-of-its-kind free online teaching and learning resource in 2015 that will be open to everyone. The courseware is designed to help students learn to program and support teachers in their daily classroom work.

National Girls Learning Code Day will reach girls and women aged 8 to 28 across the following 15 cities:

  • Toronto
  • Saskatoon
  • Montreal
  • Vancouver
  • Barrie
  • Halifax
  • Victoria
  • London
  • Hamilton
  • Edmonton
  • Waterloo
  • Fredericton
  • Calgary
  • St. John's
  • Winnipeg

"We want to inspire and engage girls early on by showing them the opportunities and giving them the tools they need to pursue a future in technology." Betty DeVita, President, MasterCard Canada.

"It's so important to reach girls at an early age especially when the education curriculum is catching up to the marketplace in terms of a computer science focus," said Melissa Crnic, Co-Executive Director, Ladies Learning Code.

"Encouraging young women to participate in initiatives like the National Girls Learning Code Day and gain experience through online computer science courseware is truly priceless," said Mark Giesbrecht, Director, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, University of Waterloo.

According to a new study hosted on the Angus Reid Forum on behalf of MasterCard[1]:

  • Out of the Canadians that considered a career in technology, only 18 per cent were women 
  • 28% of women and 26% of men surveyed stated that a barrier to entering the technology field is the lack of encouragement to pursue science and math degrees
  • 57% of women expressed no interest in pursuing a job in the tech industry
  • All women surveyed (100%) believe that more curriculum at the high school level is important in encouraging girls to get into the tech field, and 83% of men agree
  • Most men (81%) and women (91%) believe that more curriculum at the post-secondary level is important in encouraging girls to get into the tech field
  • A majority of men (88%) and women (85%) agree that mentorship by other women is important in encouraging girls to get into this field

1 Online survey conducted on September 8, 2014 with 1007 Canadian adults who are also Angus Reid Forum panel members

About MasterCard
MasterCard (NYSE: MA),, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world's fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard's 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 @MasterCardCAnws, join the discussion on the Cashless Pioneers Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

SOURCE: MasterCard Canada

For further information: Kathy Khamis, Ketchum Public Relations,, 416.355.7415; Lauren Mostowyk, MasterCard Canada,, 416.365.6697

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