Women4Cyber Initiative Looks To Build Community With Registry

Wednesday, 27 May, 2020 - 00:00

The European Commission (DG Connect) and the Women4Cyber initiative from the European Cybersecurity Organisation (ECSO) are asking women to register for the Women4Cyber Registry.

The registry of European women working in cybersecurity is due to go live this summer and was created to identify and build the community of women professionals in the field of cybersecurity. The aim of this Registry is to encourage women professionals to come forward, become more active in the field and raise their own visibility as well as promote the Women4Cyber initiatives.

Women are under-represented at all levels in the digital sector in Europe. Although the digital sector is rapidly growing, creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs every year, the share of women in this sector is decreasing. Despite an increasing demand for ICT related skills and the soaring unemployment – the EU is projected to suffer from a shortage of digital skills by 2020.

Fewer women are interested in participating in the digital sector, be it higher education, jobs or entrepreneurship. The Commission's study Women in the digital age (2018) confirms this trend with only 24 out of every 1000 female tertiary graduates having an ICT related subject - of which only six go on to work in the digital sector. The study's findings show a decrease in this number when compared to 2011. The study also found that if more women were to enter the digital jobs market, it could create an annual EUR 16 billion GDP boost for the European economy.

In view of the findings from the study, the Commission outlined a strategy to increase women's participation in the digital sector. Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel has outlined a number of Commission actions to increase women's participation in the overall digital sector and also kicked off the Women4Cyber initiative, which was launched by the European Cyber Security Organisation (ECSO). It aims to increase the involvement of women in the development and promotion of European cybersecurity.

CYBERWISER.eu is analysing the cyber training across the EU, including initiatives and incentives to get more women involved. This article marks the starting point for this analysis with a view to producing a set of guidelines to fill major gaps in the field.