16 Jun 2022

techUK renews backing for gender diversity in cyber security initiative as applications open for autumn programmes

Empowering Women to Lead in Cyber Security programme expands into Wales, Northern Ireland and Northern England.

An innovative cross-sector initiative, designed to tackle the long-standing lack of gender diversity within cyber security, has launched a UK-wide call for applications to join its latest round of leadership programmes, running in multiple regions across the country. The Empowering Women to Lead Cyber Security initiative, delivered by leadership and coaching specialists Empowering You, was established last year with the support of government and industry and aims to develop a collaborative and powerful community of emerging female leaders in cyber security roles across the UK.

Following its initial success in Scotland and Southern England, where the initiative has brought together cyber security and information management/assurance professionals from a diverse range of organisations including central government, health bodies, financial services, energy, local government and tech providers, the organisers are now extending the reach of the initiative across the UK. techUK and the Cabinet Office’s Government Security Group have renewed their support for the initiative’s expansion, alongside government and industry partners in each of the regions including London & Southern England, Northern England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

The starting point and centre piece of the initiative is a series of three-month intensive leadership courses, consisting of a combination of group workshops and one-to-one coaching, for a cohort of early-mid career cyber security professionals, selected via an open application process by a Programme Panel made up of leading cyber professionals from across government and industry.  In addition to their own personal growth and development, the programme participants also tackle a number of  'challenges' set by the programme panel, which are based on societal issues which cyber security can help to address. The teams then present the results of their group work to an audience of their peers and the wider cyber community.

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. Previous programmes have attracted the support of industry heavyweights including the likes of Adarma, Lloyds Banking Group, Morgan Stanley, NCC Group, Deloitte and Sopra Steria.

Commenting on their support for the 'Empowering Women to Lead…' Initiative, techUK’s Head of Programme, Cyber and National Security, Dan Patefield said: "Initiatives like these are absolutely vital as the UK cyber sector works to build a more diverse workforce, supporting participants’ growth in their cyber careers. Recent DCMS research suggests that less than 20% of cyber roles are filled by women which, when we consider 50% of UK organisations have a cyber skills gap, is simply not good enough. Solving this challenge helps us bridge the gap and – as we know – more diverse teams make better decisions and drive better outcomes.”

Applications for the “Empowering Women to Lead Cyber Security” London and Southern England cohort are open now and will close in August.

Each region has its own dedicated program and applicants are encouraged to apply only for the region in which they are predominantly based.

For more information, including details on how to apply and the timelines for the cohort in your region, please see the links below:

London & Southern England

Northern England

Northern Ireland

Wales

Scotland

Dan Patefield

Dan Patefield

Head of Cyber and National Security, techUK

Jill Broom

Jill Broom

Programme Manager, Cyber Security, techUK

Raya Tsolova

Programme Manager, National Security, techUK