Over a thousand school girls take part in UK’s largest movement to inspire women into cyber

EmPowerCyber2019, Women in Cyber


Over one thousand, Year 8 school girls from the South-West and North-East are joining together in the UK’s largest ever movement to inspire more females into a career in cyber.

CyNam, the UK’s largest non-profit cybersecurity cluster, has joined forces with Tesco and Sage Software to bring together 1,300 school girls.

Women currently only account for 11% of the global cyber workforce, and just 8% in the UK. With the support of Tesco and FTSE100 software giant Sage, #EmPowerCyber will shift the hearts and minds of a generation of potential female recruits and change current perception of cyber as a male dominated career. 

 Taking place at secret locations, a 1000 girls from 25 schools in the South-West, and 300 girls from 10 schools in the North-East, will experience a ‘fully immersive hands-on workshop style activity day with 20 of the UK’s top cyber specialists.  

 Among these include Government security experts and global enterprise IT and cybersecurity leaders from global brands such as Greggs and BT. Schools in the South-West attending include Gloucester Academy,  Dean Academy in the Forest of Dean and Wyedean School in Sedbury. Plus, Horton Academy and North Gosforth Academy in the North-East.   

The students will meet in locations within their respective regions, with the South-West EmPowerCyber event taking place nearby the Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ) in Cheltenham on 25th November in partnership with GFirst LEP, InfoSec People Ltd. The event on 23rd November in the North-East is backed by The Newcastle United Foundation and CyberNorth, and will be held close to St James Park.  

Both events are staged by CyNam, a community impact organisation with a purpose to drive innovation in the technology sector, and other event partners include Raytheon and the Careers Enterprise Company (CEC). 

Speaking about the event, Emma Williams, Assistant Principal Academic at Wyedean School in Gloucestershire said, “We’re delighted to be able to offer our students the chance to be part of the EmPowerCyber event as it challenges the cyber career stereotypes and inspires the next generation of young women to consider careers in STEM or cybersecurity.”

“Our students will experience interactive, enriching and empowering workshops lead by key industries and academia, learning first hand the critical skills that are needed for the future.”

Madeline Howard, Chair and Director of Cynam

Madeline Howard, Chair and Director of CyNam and organiser of EmPowerCyber, added, “There are so many career opportunities for both men and women in cyber.”

“Cyber skills have never been so much in demand as the talent shortage continues to grow.”

“Yet we’re still seeing fewer females coming through the sector, despite it being well paid, one of the most flexible to work in, and offering a real variety of career options. So CyNam is on a mission to capture the imagination of every young person and educate them on the opportunities in the sector. EmPowerCyber in the South-West and North-East will hopefully be the first of many such events.”   

“We’re amazed at the level of response we got from teachers and industry, and we’d like to keep repeating this success in other regions. Events like these are vital to bring together the cyber community and to make a difference to the future of young lives as well as continuously nurture the talent we need to safeguard the future security of our nation.”



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