The UK government’s intelligence and cyber security agency GCHQ recently launched a competition to help discover more young women with an interest in cyber security, the Recruiter website reports.
The CyberFirst Girls Competition is part of the GCHQ’s efforts to tackle the issue of women being under represented in the cyber security sector.
Cyber security is a growing concern for UK businesses and institutions, and by inviting teenage girls throughout the country to come forwards and put their talent to the test, it’s hoped that a new pool of talent will be unearthed.
GCHQ’s National Cyber and Security Centre (NCSC) is looking for girls between the ages of 13 and 15 to take part in the team event. Entrants must be part of a team of four, accompanied by a teacher to act as mentor and guardian.
There will be a series of tasks for students to complete in a “fun and challenging environment”, pitted against other young women from across the country.
The ten most successful teams will progress to a national final, to be held in London this March, where they’ll have the chance to win individual prizes and £1k worth of IT equipment.
In a statement, GCHQ explained that just 10% of the global cyber workforce is female. It is hoped that the competition will help to eliminate some of the barriers preventing young women from entering cyber security positions, and inspire the next generation to consider a career in this burgeoning field.