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Women only: Cyber industry launches security course but blokes needn’t bother

Only women and gender-diverse candidates will be invited to participate in the latest cybersecurity course from one of Australia’s largest security providers as part of an effort to address inequality in the sector.

Jul 08, 2024, updated Jul 08, 2024
Director-General of the Australian Signals Directorate Rachel Noble addresses the Lowy Institute in Sydney, Friday, September 2, 2022. (AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi) NO ARCHIVING

Director-General of the Australian Signals Directorate Rachel Noble addresses the Lowy Institute in Sydney, Friday, September 2, 2022. (AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi) NO ARCHIVING

CyberCX launched its first full-time, women-only training course on Monday, offering 40 paid roles that will begin in November.

The announcement comes after research from Per Capita revealed women made up just 21 per cent of Australia’s cybersecurity workforce, and a study from Engineers Australia showed only 13 per cent of qualified engineers were female.

The low rates of participation have persisted despite widespread predictions of skills shortages in Australia’s technology workforce.

CyberCX Academy director Rosemary Driscoll said the six-month, full-time training course was designed to address the industry’s gender imbalance and used feedback from other all-women training courses.

“Australia needs a more diverse cyber security workforce to meet demands of industry and government now and into the future,” she said.

“Everyone has a role to play here, from the government to our tertiary institutions and the private sector.”

The full-time course comes after Per Capita research found Australia was likely to suffer a skills shortage of up to 30,000 cybersecurity workers by 2026, and women represented just 21 per cent of professionals in the field.

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Engineers Australia’s report into Women in Engineering also found women made up just 16 per cent of engineering graduates and 13 per cent of the workforce.

Its recommendations to improve gender diversity included addressing a non-inclusive culture, providing greater opportunities for female engineers in workplaces, and offering mentoring programs.

The CyberCX entry-level cybersecurity course will be open to women studying cybersecurity or looking to change careers, and will feature 10 weeks of practice and 12 weeks of on-the-job experience.

Applications from women in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra and Hobart will close on August 2.

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