Program encouraging young women to enter cyber security field nominated for award

5 AUGUST 2019

Program encouraging young women to enter cyber security field nominated for award

Young women have traditionally been reluctant to pursue a career in cyber security, which had drastically tilted the field’s gender balance.

  • Cyber Security Online Women in Security Awards recognise Charles Sturt program
  • More than 120 girls in years 9 and 10 in NSW have participated in the workshops
  • Award winners to be announced on Tuesday 3 September

A Charles Sturt University (Charles Sturt) program aimed at increasing the number of women in cyber security professions has been nominated for an award.

The Girls in Cyber Security Advancing (GiCSA) project has been nominated for the Best Education Program for Young Ladies in Security prize at the 2019 Cyber Security Online Women in Security Awards.

The program aims to equally involve women in cyber security professions by focusing on education for girls in high school.

It consists of a series of cyber security-related workshops conducted in regional NSW, with more than 120 Year 9 and 10 girls participating in the first phase of the project.

Associate Professor in Computing in the Charles Sturt School of Computing and Mathematics, Tanveer Zia (pictured), who developed and led the project, said he was “humbled” to learn the program had been nominated, even if word had reached him via less-than-conventional channels.

“I was not aware of the nomination until one of my students saw it on social media and sent me a congratulating email,” he said.

“I then contacted the organisers to confirm, and was pleasantly surprised to learn that the GiCSA project had received the nomination.

“This demonstrates that Charles Sturt is truly engaged with its local communities, our teaching and research is impactful, and we are inclusive in our programs to change the gender differences in STEM education.”

Associate Professor Zia said young women had traditionally been reluctant to pursue a career in cyber security, which had drastically tilted the field’s gender balance.

 “Only 11 per cent of those working in cyber security are female, and of that only one per cent will become leaders,” he said.

“To think this program is helping to address that imbalance is fantastic.” 

The project was funded by the Australian government as part of the Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship initiative, and supported by the Australian Information Security Association.

The winners of the 2019 Cyber Security Online Women in Security Awards will be announced on Tuesday 3 September.
Media Note:

To arrange interviews with Associate Professor Tanveer Zia, contact Dave Neil at Charles Sturt Media on 0407 332 718 or news@csu.edu.au.

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