The Standard Chartered Bank and Strathmore University have launched a programme for women in cyber to address the skill and gender gap in the cyber security sector as well as diversify the pool of talent in technology.
The programme intends to recruit 100 women from diverse backgrounds in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania who seek to join cyber security careers and will be exposed to best-in-class mentors who will guide them in the journey.
Speaking during the launch, Standard Chartered Bank Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kenya and East Africa Kariuki Ngari noted that mentorship is very critical as the new world order has seen a surge of cybe crimes in Africa necessitating a need to manage the new risks and vulnerability in the sector.
“Bridging this gap is vital and requires us to shift our mentality to that of opportunities by accepting the new world as it is unfolding in front of our eyes. A strong mentorship network is essential to attract and retain underrepresented women in this industry,” said Ngari.
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The International Information System Security Certification Consortium’s Cybersecurity (ISC2) Workforce Study, reported that the world Cybersecurity workforce must grow by 65 per cent in 2022 to effectively defend organisations’ critical assets, demonstrating the need for more capacity building in the cyberspace.
Commenting on the launch, Director @iLabAfrica at Strathmore University Joseph Sevilla noted there is an urgent need to break the entry barrier that has made it difficult for women to pursue cybersecurity-related careers even as the country has witnessed a spike in cyber threat events.
“With this programme, we are creating a space for women in cyber security to get access to the support skills, knowledge and networks necessary for professional growth and we hope to see increased interest and adoption of cyber security roles by women in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania,” said Sevilla.
Those who will be selected to join the mentorship programme will be selected through a very competitive process and are required to be proficient in both English and Kiswahili with access to a strong internet connection as the programme will be exclusively virtual.
The programme will have a self-paced learning model and the mentees will also enjoy mentorship circles and fireside chats.