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Women in Cyber Mentorship Programme

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The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams (FIRST) and  EQUALS​, the global partnership for gender equality in the digital age of which ITU is a co-founder, jointly organize the Women in Cyber Mentorship Programme for empowering women in the cybersecurity sector. The programme engages role models and leaders in this field, and connects them with talented women worldwide. The Women in Cyber Mentorship Programme builds on and benefits from the ongoing efforts of ITU-BDT to close the digital gender divide, by mainstreaming gender-focused activities within our different thematic priorities. The programme is an outcome of the CyberDrill 2020 Empowering Women in Cybersecurity Webinar, where the need for role models and mentorship was identified as pivotal for increasing the number of women leaders in cybersecurity.

The Women in Cyber Mentorship Programme is a three-part programme features guided monthly mentorship circles with supporting activities, including a series of inspirational webinars and technical and soft skills training courses. All activities will be delivered online over the course of six (6) months, from March to August 2021. 




CALL FOR PARTNERS


The Women in Cyber (WiC) Mentorship Programme is an extraordinary opportunity to overcome the digital gender divide and to increase the number of women leaders in cybersecurity. 
We hereby invite UN entities and international organizations, governments, universities and academic bodies, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), foundations and industry representatives to join the Women in Cyber Mentorship Programme. You can contribute to the programme by supporting its implementation, and/or by nominating potential mentors or mentees.

Don't miss this opportunity to help achieving gender equality in the digital age and tackle the cybersecurity workforce gap.  
Make a difference! Become a Women in Cyber partner!   

If you have any questions on the Women in Cyber partnership opportunity, please feel free to contact: 






Invitation letter​


Registration

Submissions to participate in the programme will be open from 22 February to 31 March 2021. Registration to the programme must be made via the following links: 
Please note that programme seats are limited and are not guaranteed
Note: Upon registration through the dedicated link, the WiC Inspirational Keynote Webinars are open to the general public. The trainings and mentorship circles are open exclusively to e​ligible women to the programme.​

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PROGRAMME OBJECTIVES

  • INSPIREShift the mentality and tackle systemic barriers that prevent broader inclusion. Promote the perception of women not as a special needs group, but as valuable additions to the cybersecurity workforce. 

  • TRAIN: Encourage women to take on leadership roles in cybersecurity. Provide expert training courses from leaders in the field and equip women with not just technical skills, but also the soft skills needed for successful professional development.   
  • EMPOWER: Promote knowledge sharing of best practices in cybersecurity career development. Provide a platform where women in senior positions can mentor and foster the professional and personal growth of women at junior levels. 

PROGRAMME STRUCTURE
  • INSPIRE: Four (4) Inspirational Keynote Webinars: Featured speakers are well-known women in cybersecurity showcasing their career paths, hence promoting role models and the perception of women as valuable additions to the cybersecurity workforce. 
  • TRAIN: Six (6) Technical and Soft Skills Online Trainings: Training courses to provide participants with the various technical and soft skills needed for professional and personal development.  
  • EMPOWERSix (6) Mentorship Circle Sessions: Live mentorship circle sessions to provide participants a platform to further explore and discuss professional and personal development topics with high-level women in cybersecurity. 

TARGET AUDIENCE
Who should attend:
This inaugural rollout of the Women in Cyber Mentorship Programme is being offered specifically to women residing in the Africa and Arab regions. By limiting regional participation, the programme aims to provide women support in their local cybersecurity communities.

Africa: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Arab States: Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, State of Palestine, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen.
 
The next editions of the Women in Cyber Mentorship Programme will cover other regions.

Note: Upon registration through the dedicated link, the WiC Inspirational Keynote Webinars are open to the general public. The trainings and mentorship circles are open exclusively to eligible women to the programme.  


ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA​
To be eligible to participate in the Women in Cyber Mentorship Programme, interested women must have: 
  • Minimum 2-3 years junior level experience in the field of cybersecurity, or seeking to enter the cybersecurity workforce from another junior level ICT/STEM position. 
  • The keynote webinars and trainings will be held in English. Participants must have a good working knowledge of English to attend these two activities.  
  • Based on the mentor’s working language, the sessions of the mentorship circle will be available in English, Arabic or French. 
  • A computer and stable internet connection.   
  • There are no age restrictions. ​

​Note: The eligibility criteria are not applicable to participants wishing to attend the WiC Inspirational Keynote Webinars. 

RATIONALE
On a global scale, women are underrepresented in the cybersecurity workforce and paid less than their male counterparts. With the persistent representation and compensation gaps continuing to increase, it is crucial that the cybersecurity sector looks critically at efforts to recruit and retain women within the field. Despite the worldwide proliferation of programmes and trainings in cyber, there is still a significant lack of women in leadership and managerial positions.  

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION              
  • Programme seats are limited.  
  • The delivery platform of the webinars and trainings is Zoom. The mentorship circles will take place on Converve. 
  • Selected participants must register to all three parts of the mentorship programme (i.e. inspirational keynote webinars, trainings and mentorship circles).  ​
  • The WiC Inspirational Keynote Webinars are open to the public, upon registration through the dedicated link. 
  • Selected applicants to the mentorship circles will be contacted by email by the end of February 2021. 
  • Upon completion of the mentorship circles, participants will receive a Certificate of Participation.