- Cyber Security Online Women in Security Awards recognise Charles Sturt Girls in Cyber Security Advancing project
- Project leader Associate Professor Tanveer Zia aiming to ‘make a difference for communities’
- More than 120 girls in years 9 and 10 in New South Wales have participated in the workshops
A Charles Sturt University (Charles Sturt) program aimed at increasing the number of women in cyber security professions has won an industry award.
The Girls in Cyber Security Advancing (GiCSA) project on Tuesday won the Best Education Program for Young Ladies in Security prize at the 2019 Cyber Security Online Women in Security Awards.
The initiative 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 years 9 and 10 girls participating.
“Cyber security is focus of my research and I wanted to deliver research which can make a difference for communities, and particularly to our younger generation,” he said.
“I took this project with passion to increase the involvement of women in cyber security and contribute to equity, diversity and inclusion in the wider community.
“Winning the award has given me a great sense of accomplishment and pride to know it has made an impact.”
Associate Professor Zia said he hopes GiCSA will encourage young women to pursue careers in cyber security and redress the gender imbalance in the field: only 11 per cent of those working in the industry are women.
Within Charles Sturt University, the project is supported by seed funding from the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Engagement), a compact grant from the Faculty of Business, Justice and Behavioural Sciences, in-kind support from the School of Computing and Mathematics, and cash and in-kind support from the AgriTech Incubator.
GiCSA is also funded by the Australian government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science as part of the Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship program, and also received in-kind sponsorship from the Australian Information Security Association.