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New Cybersecurity Pilot Program to Expand Career Pathways for Women in Chicago

ISACA Now
| Posted at 3:50 PM by ISACA News | Category: ISACA | Permalink | Email this Post | Comments (0)

Women in the Chicago area who are interested in exploring a career path in cybersecurity, particularly those who are underrepresented in the field, will now have the opportunity to join a pilot program launched last week by ISACA, along with AnitaB.org and the City Tech Collaborative.

At an event announcing the pilot program last week at The Connectory in Chicago, ISACA’s Tara Wisniewski, senior vice president, global affairs, and Alisha Wenc, manager, corporate programs, shared details about the pilot that will test the impact of free cybersecurity training on the workforce outcomes for women entering tech, alongside AnitaB.org, City Tech and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Emanuel praised the launch of this program, speaking about the ongoing need for a strong cybersecurity workforce and for underrepresented groups to be reflected in this talent. “This program will provide endless opportunities—there are no limits,” he said. “It doesn’t require four years. It doesn’t require six years. It doesn’t require a Ph.D. In six weeks, we can get people part of a digital economy who, for a whole host of reasons, would have been cut out.”

With weekend classes, industry partnerships, and mentorship opportunities, the pilot program is designed to be accessible, holistic, and supportive for participants. It will leverage ISACA’s CSX Training Platform and last eight weeks. Students will also be exposed to job skills, mentorship opportunities, and role models to help accelerate their careers.

During the Q&A, Wenc emphasized that the goal is to extend support for trainees beyond the training period of the program, noting that they welcome hearing from organizations that are interested in offering internship or employment opportunities.

The Cybersecurity training pilot was spurred by a $60,000 grant from City Tech’s Connect Chicago Innovation Program, which is a fund supporting bringing collaborative new ideas to life that ultimately increase tech access, skills and engagement in Chicago.

“The structural and cultural issues causing the gender imbalance in the tech industry are incompatible with the very values the industry espouses—innovation, creativity and diversity of thought,” said Wisniewski in her remarks. “Together, the organizations here today are committed to fixing that imbalance and restoring those values.”

To learn more, read the full press release here:  www.isaca.org/About-ISACA/Press-room/News-Releases/2019/Pages/city-tech-launches-new-cybersecurity-training-pilot-for-women-in-chicago-alongside-key-partners.aspx.

Those who are interested in applying for the pilot or in getting involved can visit https://community.anitab.org/event/anitab-org-chicago-isaca-cyber-security-training-program/.

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