Mastercard celebrates International Women’s Day by highlighting inspiring stories of passionate and bold women who have broken paradigms by achieving their goals in what they set out to do. Athletes, entrepreneurs, businesswomen, artists, leaders, and chefs who seek to inspire other women to realize their dreams.
To kick off the initiative, soccer coach Evelina Cabrera, Domino Saints singer Gigi Ojeda, and cryptographic artist @SoyFira will take to Mastercard’s Instagram, where they will share their personal stories, engage in authentic dialogue, and inspire new generations of women to achieve their goals.
“International Women’s Day is a call to action that, from Mastercard, we support every day of the year through different actions reflected in alliances with the public and private sectors; and that translates into programs designed to support women at all stages of their lives,” said Janet Rivera-Hernández, vice president of communications for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Until now, women’s start-ups have been predominantly focused on tasks that were an extension of gender roles, such as food production in general, clothing, cosmetics, and health care. But in recent years, a new change has begun to emerge, says Blanca Aldasoro of Fundación Capital, the organization that, together with BFA Global, implements the Strive Mexico program, an initiative of Mastercard’s Center for Inclusive Growth that supports 400,000 small and medium-sized companies in adapting to a digital economy.
“Women who inherited a trade occupation from their parents, for example, plumbing, are now formally training to practice it. There is also a paradigm shift in craftswomen, who traditionally produced their pieces, but the men were in charge of transporting them for sale. Now it is the women themselves who go out to sell them. These are subtle changes, but they generate radical shifts in the social structures of the communities where they live.”
At Mastercard, we know that there is still a long way to go to reach the Gender Equality goal proposed by the UN for 2030, but we also know that we have come a long way. It is the latter that we want to highlight with this campaign.
Other Mastercard initiatives in favor of inclusion
During Women’s Month, we are also presenting Reactiva Sazón: Guardianas de la Gastronomía, a cookbook that compiles and preserves the gastronomic recipes and testimonies of Peruvian female entrepreneurs. The publication reflects the program implemented by CARE Peru, Mastercard’s Center for Inclusive Growth, and the gastronomic associations of Lima’s Historic Center to reactivate the businesses of gastronomic women in downtown Lima affected by the pandemic. During 2021 and 2022, more than 50 new portable food bars were distributed, and 123 women entrepreneurs were trained to strengthen their organizational, business, and technical skills.
“You have done something wonderful, because you have cared about regular women, about what we have learned throughout our lives, what our mothers and grandmothers have taught us. My God, you have made my wish come true,” said Rosario Briceño, 60, a member of the Chabuca Granda Association of Potajes Limeños vendors and one of the beneficiaries of the program.
Increasing women’s access to digital tools and resources is a critical means to unlocking their prosperity both in their business and personal lives. Mastercard is pushing its networks further, forging ambitious partnerships that are transforming the way our world works. This initiative builds on Mastercard’s ongoing global and regional efforts including, Strive Mexico who joins forces with other Mastercard programs to support women, such as LEADS Mujer from INCAE, which has been driving and promoting entrepreneurship, leadership, and empowerment of Central American women since 2017; Todas Conectadas, an alliance between Mastercard and the UN for the free digitalization of women in Latin America and the Caribbean, and Girls4Tech™, a program that – since 2014 – has trained more than 2 million girls between the ages of 8 and 16 in STEM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), an area of knowledge that has historically excluded women.
Digital technologies are powering new ways of thinking and collaborating while also opening unique opportunities we couldn’t have imagined before. As our physical and digital lives continue to converge, Mastercard remains committed to supporting various projects that help women entrepreneurs to stand out and scale their businesses, using digital technology as a key lever to help reduce inequality, support inclusion, and open up economic opportunities.