Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth

“We need a transformation in benefits as opposed to tinkering around the edges – one that centers workers rather than institutions and builds around their needs, hearing the demand for flexibility, as well as the need for resilience and stability.”
– Daniel Barker, Vice President for Research, Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth ​


Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth works to advance equitable and sustainable economic growth and financial inclusion across the globe. It produces research, funds projects and supports a community of people who are leading thinking around inclusive growth, including how to promote worker resilience.​

Role in the future of work

The Center conducts a wide range of activities relevant to the future of work such as projects supporting the financial security and economic mobility of workers. The Center supports a number of programs and collaborations that support worker resilience and mobility in the growing gig economy, including initiatives to promote benefits centered on the worker, rather than the employer. ​

Growth to date

Some of the projects the Center has supported include Benefits 21 with the Aspen Institute, to define principles for worker-led benefits and WorkRise a research-to-action network convened through the Urban Institute focused on improving the economic mobility of workers. Mastercard has also partnered with benefits providers to extend support to gig workers through its core business. (See for example, its partnership with Stride.)

Barriers and challenges

Developing worker-centric benefits systems involves wide stakeholder collaboration, across private sector contractors of work, benefits and service providers, and regulators. Each sector brings its own perspective on the problem and potential solutions. Success will require actors to find ways to pool resources and step beyond their institutional positions.​

Looking to the future

Through supporting broad-based coalitions of actors, the Center aims to make impact on the broader macro-economic shaping opportunities for workers, including leveraging data to address socio-economic, demographic and racial disparities, through initiatives like the Inclusive Growth Score.​