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Singapore Encouraging Women to Work in Cybersecurity Industry

Singapore has ambitions to be the digital hub of the region and has deployed many projects, initiatives and strategies in pursuit of this goal. One major area of concern is ensuring adequate local talent for the industry. In light of the pandemic, both the public and private sectors realise that there is a dearth of talent.

In a recent speech, Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister for Communications and Information said, “Equally important for growth in the Digital Economy is ensuring that our firms have access to a robust pipeline of skilled digital talent. This underpins many of our efforts to create a vibrant environment for businesses.”

According to IMDA Annual Report FY2020-2021: “Technology professionals continue to be in high demand Digital and technology remains an area of opportunity for good jobs, and employment continued to grow in FY2020 by almost 4% from FY2019 despite the economic downturn.”

A specific area within Information Information and Communications Technology, which is becoming more urgent in the new normal, is cyber resilience. Singapore’s Smart Nation objectives, as well as its existence, rely heavily on cybersecurity. Commercial entities aren’t the only ones whose systems could be harmed. Cyber attacks can target a country’s key infrastructure as a whole. You can imagine how much risk you put your people in such a military war if your key infrastructure is not effectively safeguarded. The delivery of key services may be jeopardised said Josephine Teo, Minister for Communications and Information

The cybersecurity industry needs far more than the available pool at the moment. Moreover, countries are looking to skew the gender gap and better involve women in the field. According to the Minister for Communications and Information, in response to Parliamentary Question on Statistics of Women Leaders in Technology and Innovation Sectors in Singapore, the country is believed to have one of the highest proportions of women in the tech workforce globally.

She quoted a report published by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) in 2020 which indicated that women comprise 41% of the nation’s tech workforce, in contrast with the global average of 28%. She went on to say that the government is committed to creating more opportunities for women in tech.

Nationally, the Cyber Security Agency (CSA) is the body tasked to oversee this domain. As the country looks to better use technology, cyber resilience is up, front and centre. Its core mission is to keep Singapore’s cyberspace safe and secure, to underpin its National Security, power a Digital Economy and protect its Digital Way of Life.

Within this agency is a unit that looks to more comprehensively engage women in the field. The Agency has worked with the private sector to develop the SG Cyber Women initiative. The vision is to engage and empower women to enter into a career in cybersecurity.

The agency will strengthen outreach efforts from the industry that seeks to upskill and train women to adequately prepare them for the role. This will take place by:

  • Engaging women through education and community engagement
  • Developing their professional skillsets through learning and training
  • Advancing their cybersecurity career through support and inspiration

Increasing the number of women working in cyber-security can help to fill the talent gap in the field while simultaneously mainlining women into the economic development of the country.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, SG Women in Tech (SGWiT), in cooperation with SGTech, has launched a new program – The SGWiT Corporate Vow – where firms pledge to establish a conducive atmosphere with a support structure to recruit, retain and develop more women in tech.

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