Despite recent improvements women continue to be underrepresented in cybersecurity. Currently, they represent only 24% of cybersecurity professionals. While that’s better than five or ten years ago, the industry still has a ways to go. Fortunately, there are some great resources to support women getting into and excelling in cybersecurity.
Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS)
In 2012 Dr. Ambareen Siraj of Tennessee Tech University founded Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS) through a National Science Foundation grant with a mission to recruit, retain and advance women in cybersecurity. They create opportunities through professional development programs, conferences, career fairs, and more. WiCyS opportunities include:
Veterans’ Apprenticeship Program
Security Training Scholarship Made Possible by Google
National Cyber League (NCL) virtual competition/game experience
Student Resources, including graduate school and scholarship opportunities
Online Learning Resources
WiCyS Cyber Talent Emergency Fund
WiCyS provides a wealth of resources, which would benefit women pursuing cybersecurity careers. Many of these resources are provided by or in collaboration with other organizations. This increases opportunities for female participants to expand their cybersecurity networks.
Women in Technology (WIT)
In 1992, Women in Technology (WIT) was founded with the sole mission of advancing women in technology “from the classroom to the boardroom.” WIT’s Cyber Security & Technology Special Interest Group (Cyber & Tech SIG) focuses on that same mission in the cybersecurity space.
Cyber & Tech SIG’s activities include cyber and emerging technology events, such as:
Two WIT.Connects per Year
Meet the Cybersecurity / Innovation Company
Networking Social Events
Cyber Professional Mentoring
Cyber Membership Education
The organization provides women with unique opportunities to meet leaders within top cybersecurity and technology companies.
SANS CyberTalent Immersion Academy for Women
The SANS Institute is known for its world-class cybersecurity training with corresponding GIAC certifications. SANS CyberTalent Immersion Academy is an intensive, accelerated training program that provides SANS world class training and GIAC certifications to quickly and effectively launch careers in cybersecurity. SANS CyberTalent Immersion Academies are 100% scholarship-based and no cost to participants.
2021 Academy Timeline
Applications open: March 1, 2021
Deadline to apply: June 30, 2021
Training begins: August 2021
Graduation: February 2022
GIAC certifications are highly valued and accepted in the cybersecurity industry. Earning the certifications offered by the SANS CyberTalent Immersion Academy would make cybersecurity job seekers quite attractive to potential employers.
It’s a positive development that female representation in cybersecurity is improving. Hopefully programs like these will accelerate the cybersecurity careers of more women and facilitate better representation in the industry.
For additional resources visit Cybersecurity Ventures’ 50 Women In Cybersecurity Associations And Groups To Follow.