The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to collaborate in their efforts to close the gender gap in cybersecurity. The partnership aims to encourage young girls to take an interest in cybersecurity and pursue careers in a field currently dominated by men.
According to a report by Women in CyberSecurity (WiCyS) and Cybersecurity Ventures, only 25% of the global cybersecurity workforce is composed of women, despite women making up 51% of the population. By fostering an interest in cybersecurity among young girls, the industry can tap into a large untapped talent pool.
“As we kick off Girl Scouts Week, I can’t think of a better way to recognise their impact on every community in America than to formalise our relationship so we can continue to work together to train the next generation of cybersecurity talent our nation so badly needs,” says CISA Director Jen Easterly.
“It will take real collaboration to close the cybersecurity gender gap and I am thrilled to strengthen and solidify an already fantastic collaboration with GSUSA to help us get there. CISA and GSUSA share a common goal to close the gender gap in technology and to inspire the next generation of cybersecurity leaders.”
CISA and GSUSA have already worked together on cybersecurity initiatives in the past, including the creation of 18 cybersecurity badges for Girl Scouts. Over 315,000 badges have been earned by Girl Scouts since their introduction in 2017.
As part of the MOU, CISA will participate in the 2023 Girl Scout Convention at Phenom by Girl Scouts in July 2023. The agency will also continue to share tips for online safety with girls and their families, as well as provide mentorship to women in the field through partnerships with WiCyS. CISA says it also hopes it can help pass on some cyber tips that will help entrepreneurial efforts to sell the organisation’s famous Girl Scout Cookies.