Microsoft's push for more women in cybersecurity

Kerem Gülen
Apr 24, 2023

Tech giant Microsoft has recently made an announcement regarding its plan to allocate additional funding towards the training of new cybersecurity professionals. The initiative is aimed at providing skill-building opportunities, particularly for women, in some of the most marginalized nations across South America and Asia. This move seeks to address the severe underrepresentation of women in the cybersecurity sector and aims to promote greater gender diversity in the field.

Microsoft's Cybersecurity Skills Initiative, which now encompasses a total of 28 countries, has recently welcomed Argentina, Chile, Indonesia, and Spain to its roster. This program is geared towards providing grants and funding opportunities to non-profit organizations and educational institutions to help facilitate the delivery of more extensive cybersecurity training.

As the demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals continues to surge worldwide, many underdeveloped nations are experiencing a significant shortage of qualified personnel. By prioritizing the upskilling of women in these regions, Microsoft is striving to bridge the widening skills gap and promote more gender balance in the field.

Women's role in protecting cyber fronts

According to Microsoft's own report from 2022, women comprise only 25% of the entire cybersecurity workforce. While the current announcement primarily focuses on empowering women in this field, the company is also committed to supporting “historically underrepresented populations” more broadly. By recognizing the ongoing underrepresentation of certain populations in cybersecurity, Microsoft aims to address the longstanding diversity challenges in the industry and foster a more inclusive and equitable landscape for all.

As part of its commitment to promoting greater gender diversity in cybersecurity, Microsoft has announced a series of new partnerships with organizations such as WOMCY in Latin America, Women4Cyber in Europe, and the UN's International Telecommunications Union. These partnerships will specifically support the Women in Cyber Mentorship Program, with a particular focus on underrepresented regions such as the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

Image source: Pexels

Furthermore, global community WiCyS and country-level partnerships in countries like Poland and Ukraine will also be part of this movement towards achieving greater gender balance in the cybersecurity sector. Through these collaborations, Microsoft seeks to expand access to resources, training, and mentorship opportunities for women in cybersecurity and create a more inclusive environment for all.

In addition to its focus on promoting gender diversity, Microsoft's recent announcement also sheds light on the overall growth and skills shortage in the cybersecurity industry. According to reports, the sector has experienced twice the growth of other industries in the past decade. Despite this growth, several nations including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the US are reportedly struggling to meet the demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals.

The Cybersecurity Skills Initiative, which now spans 28 countries including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, and South Africa, has already impacted the lives of over 400,000 individuals, with notable success in India. Microsoft Philanthropies Corporate VP Kate Behncken has called for greater collaboration between governments, private entities, and educational institutions to address the pressing skills gap in cybersecurity and ensure a more secure digital future for all.


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  1. Anonymous said on April 24, 2023 at 9:47 pm

    How about a push for people with more common sense? Seems like there is none left at Microsoft.

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