13 Jan 2023

Industry and government-backed initiative to tackle gender diversity in cyber to go UK-wide

Applications for Spring cohorts of the Empowering Women to Lead, Cyber Security programme now open!

An innovative cross-sector initiative, designed to tackle the long standing lack of gender diversity within cyber security, has announced plans for its successful Empowering Women to Lead, Cyber Security programme to be offered across the UK. The initiative, delivered by leadership and coaching specialists Empowering You, was established two years ago in Scotland and aims to develop a collaborative and powerful community of emerging female leaders in cyber security roles across the UK.

Following its success in London & Southern England, Northern Ireland and Scotland, the organisers are now extending the reach of the initiative across the UK to new regions including Northern England, the Midlands and Wales as part of their Spring 2023 schedule. The initiative has proven to be highly effective in bringing together InfoSec professionals from a diverse range of organisations including central government, health bodies, financial services, energy, local government and technology providers themselves, breaking down the traditional barriers between sectors.

The Spring programmes will run from April to July, with in-person elements taking place in cities across the UK, including Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Dundee, London and Manchester.

Each regional program consists of a three-month intensive leadership course, including a combination of group workshops and one-to-one coaching for a cohort of 20 to 24 female InfoSec professionals, selected via an open application process by a Programme Panel made up of senior government and industry representatives

A key element of the initiative is that all participant places are free of charge to ensure accessibility for as wide a range of organisations and individuals as possible, with funding for the Programme provided by its partners in government and the wider tech industry. The upcoming Spring programs have already attracted the support of industry heavyweights including the likes of Lloyds Banking Group, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, NCC Group and Sopra Steria.

techUK, the UK’s trade association for the technology sector, has renewed its support for the initiative’s continuing expansion, again reinforcing its long-standing advocacy of improved diversity and inclusion in the sector. Commenting on their support for the “Empowering…” programs, techUK’s Programme Manager, Cyber Security snd Central Government, Jill Broom said:

 "The most recent National Cyber Security Centre Decrypting Diversity report found that only 36% of those working in the UK cyber security sector identified as female; and only one third of senior leaders in the industry are women. techUK is, therefore, committed to promoting diversity throughout the InfoSec profession and proud to support the Empowering Women to Lead, Cyber Security programme. Initiatives like this are absolutely vital as the sector works to bring more women into it, and to ensure that women are supported in reaching leadership positions.

"It's important to find trusted support along the way and that’s one of the most valuable things about this programme – the formation of a network of amazing, like-minded women who will invite others to the community, open doors for them and keep on building that inclusive culture. Because we all know that more diverse teams make better decisions and drive better outcomes.

"techUK looks forward to continuing its support for the programme as it’s rolled out across other regions in the UK.”

Applications for the Empowering Women to Lead, Cyber Security programmes are open now and will close over the course of February and early March.

You can find out more about the programme available in your region and apply here.

Have a look at what previous participants on the inititative say about it here and here

Jill Broom

Jill Broom

Programme Manager, Cyber Security, techUK

Dan Patefield

Dan Patefield

Head of Cyber and National Security, techUK

Raya Tsolova

Programme Manager, National Security, techUK