To Prepare Women For Careers in CyberSecurity
Nonprofit organizations provide 20 scholarships across North America for cybersecurity training and certifications.
VANCOUVER, BC, February 23, 2022
Twenty women are preparing for careers in cybersecurity through a training program offered by the Women CyberSecurity Society (WCS2), Canada's first and only nonprofit organization dedicated to attracting more women to pursue and excel in cyber careers, and CompTIA, the nonprofit association for the information technology (IT) industry and workforce.
The two organizations have partnered to address the dual challenges of training, certifying more cybersecurity professionals, and bringing more women into the tech workforce.
"There is a global shortfall of new professionals entering the cybersecurity sector and one of our key aims for this program is to demonstrate to individuals from all walks of life that it is possible to reskill into cybersecurity as long as you have the passion and tenacity to succeed," said Lisa Kearney, president and CEO of WCS2.
Women comprise just 10% of Canada's cybersecurity workforce. Even more alarming, an estimated 50% of women in ICT drop out of the tech workforce in the first four years of their careers. While data shows that working women have been among the demographics hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, the field of cybersecurity offers a unique opportunity for women everywhere looking to skill, upskill and find employment in a new occupation.
"CompTIA is dedicated to resolving the global shortfall of new professionals entering the cybersecurity sector," said Zeshan Sattar, director of learning and skills certification at CompTIA. "Our partnership with WCS2 is our latest effort to widen participation and increase the diversity of people interested in entering the field."
The International Women in Cyber Day Scholarship was created to provide training, certification, mentoring and career skills to diverse candidates seeking to advance their cybersecurity careers. Nearly 150 women applied for scholarships. The women selected for the scholarships are at various stages in their careers. Some currently work in technology and are looking for advancement opportunities, while others are transitioning from jobs in different industries to joining the tech workforce for the first time.
Scholars in this program are working to earn the coveted CompTIA Security+ credential between January and March, using CompTIA CertMaster Learn with integrated labs and CertMaster Practice learning resources to help them progress. Their training is delivered via workshops led by veteran cybersecurity lecturer and IT trainer Rebecca Harrop.
"We are working closely with the candidates on our flipped classroom program and are looking forward to sharing their successes as they strive to become CompTIA Security+ certified professionals," CompTIA's Sattar said.
"Training and certification are key components to advancing and retaining women in cybersecurity careers," Kearney said. "The WCS2 Career Advancement Program also offers scholars career planning, mentorship, and internship opportunities. Over the next several months, we will be working one-on-one with each scholarship recipient to ensure they are positioned to succeed and advance their careers in cybersecurity."
The Women CyberSecurity Society (WCS2) is Canada's first and only non-profit offering support through programs and services to women and underrepresented groups interested in a cybersecurity career. Our mission is to increase the representation of women globally by advancing, retraining and retaining women throughout the lifecycle of their careers and resulting in a more diverse and inclusive global community. Visit https://womencybersecuritysociety.org/.
The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is a leading voice and advocate for the $5 trillion global information technology ecosystem; and the estimated 75 million industry and tech professionals who design, implement, manage, and safeguard the technology that powers the world's economy. Through education, training, certifications, advocacy, philanthropy, and market research, CompTIA is the hub for advancing the tech industry and its workforce. Visit https://www.comptia.org/.
Working to build workforce capacity, advance and retain women in cybersecurity. Support diversity and inclusion in the industry while strengthening Canada's national and economic security.
The goal of the program is to challenge Canadian organizations to increase the representation and inclusion of diverse groups within their workplace, while highlighting the benefits of giving all Canadians a seat at the table. The government has always believed in seeking the best available advice when making decisions.
The challenge encourages #CdnBusinesses to commit to these two aspirational targets for their boards and senior management:
The 50 – 30 Challenge asks that organizations aspire to two goals:
Since 2018, the mission of the Women CyberSecurity Society is to advance and retain women and marginalized groups in cybersecurity for a more diverse and inclusive industry.
In Canada, women make up only 10% of the cybersecurity workforce and 50% of women in Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) drop out within the first four years of their career. However, you can support a more inclusive and diverse community by signing our petition to recognize women in cybersecurity.
The Women CyberSecurity Society (WCS2) is proud to be partnering with the Government of Canada to participate in the 50-30 Diversity Challenge which aims to increase the representation of under-represented groups on boards and in senior management positions. We are doing our part to increase diversity and inclusion through International Women in Cyber Day.
The Women CyberSecurity Society is pleased to announce the appointment of Keavy Murphy as an Advisory Board Member and Director, Community Outreach & Engagement.
Keavy is passionate about helping others and comes from a nonprofit background. She worked to strengthen communities and improve the lives of those in need. Reach out to Keavy regarding any opportunities or needs within the community.
The Women CyberSecurity Society (WCS2) is proud to announce a new partnership with the Canadian Cyber Threat Exchange (CCTX) which is a collaboration forum and hub which provides cyber professionals an opportunity to share new threats and campaigns hitting Canadian organizations.
As community partners, we look forward to collaborating to #TipTheScale for women and marginalized groups within the cybersecurity industry. #IWCD2020 #womenincyberday #recruit #retrain #retain
It is with pleasure we announce a new partnership with the Mosse Cybersecurity Institute which allows us to provide advanced online training to our professional members. One of three platforms that allows novices and advanced members of the community to learn new
For more information, visit our Membership offerings.
We are proud to announce the City of St. John's, NL has proclaimed September 1st as International Women in Cyber Day (IWCD)!
Thank you, the City of St. John's, Mayor Danny Breen for the warm welcome to the counsel chambers where Lisa Kearney and Nancy Johnsen witnessed the signing our International Women in Cyber Day proclamation.
Specail thanks to Janet Adams who championed the initiative and worked to make it a success!
We are proud to announce the City of Vancouver has proclaimed September 1st as International Women in Cyber Day (IWCD)!
Thank you, the City of Vancouver and Mayor Kennedy Stewart for demonstrating your support for women in cybersecurity and to Lorraine Sebastian who prepared our proclamation.
Special thanks to Hon. Hedy Fry (M.P. Liberal Party - Vancouver Centre) and Melissa De Genov (City of Vancouver Councellor) for attending, speaking and presentation of proclamation at Canada's first Women in Cybersecurity conference.
A huge shout out to our partners, CASIS and BCIT for sponsoring our event and venue.
The Women CyberSecurity Society Inc. (WCS2) welcomes Nancy Johnsen as Chapter Lead as it launches in St. John's, NL. WCS2 continues it's international mission to #recruit, #retrain and #retain more women for the new digital economy in the cybersecurity workforce.
Join the chapter, by visiting our Meetup group. https://www.meetup.com/WCSS-St-Johns/
The Women CyberSecurity Society is gearing up to expand global presence at the Canadian Export Challenge
Vancouver, BC | The Women CyberSecurity Society, a non-profit society will participate in the 2019 Canadian Export Challenge (CXC) at the Global Entrepreneur Cohort. CXC is a 1-day global accelerator and pitch competition tour presented by Startup Canada, in collaboration with UPS, Export Development Canada, and theCanadian Trade Commissioner Service.
As a member of the Global Entrepreneur Cohort, the Women CyberSecurity Society, will pitch to win $2,500 and an expense-paid trip to Toronto for CXC’s final showdown, where they will face-off against representatives from across Canada to win an additional $25,000 and up to $100,000 in in-kind scaling support.
“Women from around the globe lack necessary support in the cybersecurity industry. Outreach programs and services offered locally to communities, small and large will assist to retain and retrain women for cyber. Thereby, increasing diversity while closing the gender and skills gaps where the needs for a cyber workforce are the greatest!”
“As the most connected G7 country with the greatest ease of doing business, Canadian entrepreneurs have a global advantage out of the starting gate,” said Victoria Lennox, Co-Founder, and President of Startup Canada. We are thrilled to see companies like Women CyberSecurity Society in the Global Entrepreneur Cohort and we aim to provide them with an increase in export-readiness, accelerated access to global markets, and support to ‘own the podium’ globally.”
The Women CyberSecurity Society (WCSS) is a non-profit founded in 2018 by Lisa Kearney who resides in Vancouver, BC. She brings more than two decades of expertise from the cybersecurity industry. Her organization provides customized programs and services developed by a woman in cyber for women in cyber.
Support is needed throughout the lifecycle of a career and doesn’t end with that first job, next premonition or new certification. Women in the cyber ecosystem benefit from these services as they career and needs change.
In less than a year, WCSS has six chapters globally and more in the works, 3500 Followers and hundreds of global supporters and participants for the International Women in Cyber Day campaign. The demand is clear, women are asking for help!
For more information from Startup Canada please contact:
613-627-0787 ext. 105
We are proud to announce the City of Ottawa has proclaimed September 1st as International Women in Cyber Day (IWCD)!
Thank you, the City of Ottawa, Mayor Jim Watson for demonstrating support for women in cybersecurity.
A special thanks to Rima Aristocrat (WIllis College) who accepted this honour on behalf of the Women CyberSecurity Society.
Also thank you to Sonya Shorney (Invest Ottawa) , CAV Canada, for providing us the platform to receive this honour. We were thrilled to have the City of Ottawa's, councilor Laura Dunda present our international proclamation at to Rima at CAV Canada prestigious event!
Melanie and Veronica were also instrumental in making it a success!
The Women Cybersecurity Society is proud to host Canada's first Women in Cybersecurity conference on September 12th, 2019.
IWCD Inaugural Celebration
2:00 pm – Networking (Food & Drinks)
2:30 pm – Opening Statement. Welcome Messagefrom IWCD Founder, Lisa Kearney. Reading of IWCD Mission Statement
2:45 pm – Keynote, Hon Hedy Fry
2:30 pm – Keynoter, Melissa De Genova Steward (Councilor)
3:15 pm – Guest Speaker, CASIS to speak about advocacy to increaser diversity and inclusion for women in cybersecurity.
3:30 pm – Women’s Panel
4:15 pm – Closing Statement
4:30 – 6:30 pm – Networking & Celebration