GCash champions women in STEM through GTalks Initiative

GCash, the Philippines’ leading finance app and largest cashless ecosystem, recently sparked a dialogue on the support needed for young women to enter and remain in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Through “GTalks: The Next Generation,” industry leaders, government officials, and academics engaged with students from the University of the Philippines Diliman to discuss opportunities for young women in STEM.

The event highlighted the challenges women face in these fields. According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2023, only 29.2% of the global STEM workforce are women.

Xavier Alpasa of TESDA Women Center pointed out that young women are often discouraged from pursuing STEM due to societal conditioning. “Math is tough” is a common stereotype that needs to be dismantled. Marie Aubrey Villaceran, Director of the UP Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, added, “Representation matters. ‘I feel seen, and I feel like I can belong here.'”

Alpasa offered a “3M” approach: greater access to education, mentorship from women leaders, and metrics to measure women’s participation in STEM. Michelle Alarcon, co-founder of For the Women, emphasized that digital platforms have leveled the playing field, offering free scholarships for data science to underprivileged women.

DICT-CICC Assistant Secretary Mary Rose Magsaysay advocated for changing the narrative. “Women are better investigators than men,” she said, stressing the importance of positive reinforcement.

GCash Chief Data Officer Sara Venturina highlighted the need for women leaders in organizations to foster an inclusive environment. “Having women leaders can mean inclusive hiring, flexible work arrangements, and more leadership and upskilling opportunities,” she said.

Both public and private sectors are working toward creating more opportunities for women. DTI’s Startup Pinay initiative encourages women to become startup founders, while GCash’s partnerships with For the Women and Connected Women support non-formal education channels.

GCash remains committed to enabling women in STEM to maximize their potential and impact. By facilitating discussions through GTalks, GCash aims to inspire change for a more inclusive society.

 

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