Girls Are Winners In Cyber Security Competition
Talented teams of schoolgirls across the UK have been crowned cybersecurity champions in a national competition. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has announced the winners of its CyberFirst Girls Competition, which has been redesigned for 2022. The initiative aims to inspire more girls to take up careers in coding and computing.
Currently, just 16% of the cyber workforce is female, and the sector is keen to redress the balance. The competition has been broadened to include regional finals around the whole of the UK, and to encourage more state schools to enter. This year, 25% of the new entrants were from state schools.
Chris Ensor, NCSC Deputy Director for Cyber Growth, said: “Congratulations to all the girls who took part in this year’s final of the CyberFirst Girls Competition – and a special well done to the winning schools for their success on the day.”
He added: “The UK’s growing cyber security industry needs more female representation so it’s great to see thousands of girls nationwide taking part in the contest, many for the first time. I hope for many of the girls this will be just the start of their interest in this area.”
More than 130 teams, made up of girls aged 12 to 13, took part in the final rounds. The girls took on sophisticated challenges, such as cryptography, networking and AI. The winning teams will attend a celebration event later this year, and were awarded laptops.
Steps are being made to increase the diversity of the tech talent pool further up the education system, as well. The Guardian reports that 2,000 scholarships are being made available to help graduates of non-STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) subjects take a conversion masters degree for AI (artificial intelligence) subjects.
AI is widely regarded as the most important upcoming economic and technological tool that will shape the future of the world, and the race is on to create a workforce that is armed with the right skills.
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