e4 announces girls in STEM programme

e4 31 AugFintech specialist e4 has launched a Girls in STEM programme to provide girls in underprivileged areas with the support they need to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) post matric

e4 approached Melisizwe Computer Lab Project which provides schools in need with computer labs and IT skills training, for help with this initiative, with the end goal of uplifting underprivileged female youth and addressing the shortage of female participants in STEM careers.

The programme – in alignment with e4’s resolve to improve the living standards of communities that were previously marginalised and upskill South Africa’s youth for the digital age – aims to bring much-needed resources to society’s most vulnerable and marginalised group – young, previously disadvantaged females. 

Ntombi Mphokane, e4’s HR and transformation executive, said, “With the rise of tech in today's society, it is crucial that we invest more into STEM education for girls to be able to pursue a sustainable and meaningful career path.”

With the digital age upon us and technology ever changing, Mphokane says that people are being left behind due to a lack of access to computers and associated skills. Many students have no access to computers and matriculate without knowing how to use a computer or how to type out a CV and apply for employment.  “That is an issue that will only grow in time if not addressed now.”

Officially launched in August, Women’s Month, Girls in STEM is an after-school programme designed to peak girl learners’ interests and motivate them to take up STEM subjects in Grade 10. It introduces female learners to STEM concepts in Grade 9, the crucial year before maths and science are dropped by girls as they are viewed by many as boys’ subjects.

The programme is currently recruiting girls from two different schools in Gauteng that Melisizwe Computer Lab Project has previously worked with. Girls are selected based on their attitude and aptitude and given technical training in science, maths, engineering, end-user computing, software development and robotics. Integral to the success of the programme is the mentorship offered by e4 personnel and other passionate women in the STEM industry, and the assistance given with personal development.

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