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Women4Cyber Initiative Women4Cyber Initiative Mari Kert Saint-Aubyn Foundation

Unlike many digital awareness initiatives for women, focusing on a wide-ranging ICT sector, our initiative targets the inherently complex cybersecurity field. Going beyond awareness and networking, we aim to develop a concrete agenda to meet the growing demand for cybersecurity professionals in Europe

The official launch of the initiative

ECSO invited more than 30 European female leaders from the cybersecurity field from all sectors – public, private, academic - to discuss the state of the art in the field and how to tackle the gap of cybersecurity professionals in Europe, thereby becoming the founding members of the initiative. These women were invited to frame a set of priorities for concrete actions based on their practical knowledge to set the strategic guidelines and envisage a sustainable mechanism.

The official kick-off meeting of Women4Cybertook place on 22 January 2019 in Brussels. At the time Commissioner for the digital economy and Society Mariya Gabriel expressed her support for the initiative and kindly accepted the invitation to be the patroness of the kick-off meeting."Women's talent, expertise, and the potential need to be fully unlocked to shape our Digital Future. The participation and empowerment of women in ourDigital Europe particularly in making it more secure for our citizens, businesses, critical infrastructures, and governments is an objective we must all seek. In this perspective, I welcome and wish success to the ECSOWomen4Cyber initiative and I am honored to take part in the kick-off meeting in January 2019" - Mariya Gabriel, formerly European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society.

ECSO gathers a wide range of stakeholders in order to create a harmonised European cyber ecosystem. This spirit of inclusiveness has driven ECSO to consider the role and participation of women in the cybersecurity field which is increasingly becoming an important political, economic and societal challenge. Cybersecurity demands a growing number of leaders and experts able to face today's challenges.

Despite increased interest in the cybersecurity industry, there is plenty of progress still to be done to attract and retain women in the cybersecurity profession. Concrete actions are needed to attract women to a career in cybersecurity and to address the expected skills shortage both in technical and leadership positions.

With the support of its members and the wider community, ECSO has decided to launch the W4C initiative starting from the top management level to develop solutions and resources for women considering, entering, or re-entering a career in cybersecurity.

Future steps

By creating an alliance of key women in cyber, Women4Cyber is providing visibility to the concrete actions and achievements of top women in cybersecurity. Women4Cyber itself is already branching out as it is at the source of the creation of its own local/national/pan-regional Chapters all aimed at increasing the role and participation of women in cyber. Barely two years into existence, Women4Cyber has already created an intricate European network of leaders, experts, professionals, students, etc. that constitute the Women4CyberCommunity. Through the Women4Cyber channels and through the already existing and operational Women4Cyber Chapters, Community members exchange information, business intelligence, find networking opportunities, find or promote courses and training offers relay speaking opportunities, etc. The key focus is to link the outcomes to the relevant policies and strategies at the EU level in order to achieve tangible results for the inclusion and career advancement of women in cyber.

Women4Cyber has also an ongoing collaboration with European Commission’s DG CNCT, as together they have launched the Women4Cyber Registry of Experts to showcase the European female talents in cybersecurity. The Registry is also a facilitation tool for event organisers, project managers, etc. who are looking for female experts for their conferences, projects, works, papers, etc.

Visit the Women4Cyber Registry of Experts and create your profile by clicking here

The Women4Cyber initiative is supported by the Women4Cyber Foundation, a legal entity created as a spin-off to ECSO. the foundation is governed by the W4C Administration Body – the official decision-making body – and the W4C Council – a strategic ad hoc body providing recommendations to the Administration Body in their decision-making.

The W4C Council is composed of more than 35high-level European female and male leaders from all sectors that gather every six months to discuss the priorities of the W4C initiative.

The list of Women4Cyber Administration Body and Council members list is available here

The Women4Cyber initiative is supported by the Women4Cyber Foundation, a legal entity created as a spin-off to ECSO. the foundation is governed by the W4C Administration Body – the official decision-making body – and the W4C Council – a strategic ad hoc body providing recommendations to the Administration Body in their decision-making.

The W4C Council is composed of more than 35high-level European female and male leaders from all sectors that gather every six months to discuss the priorities of the W4C initiative.

The list of Women4Cyber Administration Body and Council members list is available here

To find out more about the initiative, or who these incredible female leaders are, and their insights on why the cybersecurity field needs more women, we invite you to follow Women4Cyber on different platforms:

Women4Cyber Foundation’s Official LinkedIn page

Women4Cyber LinkedIn Discussion Group

Women4Cyber’s Official Twitter Account

Women4Cyber’s Official Instagram Account

Finally, we encourage you to spread the word about the initiative by sharing the social media content within your network. Don’t hesitate to spread the following hashtags: #Women4Cyber and  #ECSO

Visit our website : www.women4cyber.eu

You can also send an email athello@women4cyber.eu