In an effort to work toward closing the gender gap in cybersecurity the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) recently announced a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) that formalizes the collaboration between the two organizations in their pursuit to bridge the gender gap in cybersecurity.
According to a recent report by Women in CyberSecurity (WiCyS) and Cybersecurity Ventures, women make up about 25% of the global cybersecurity workforce while women consist of 51% of the population. The release states that without women pursuing careers in cybersecurity, the industry is missing out on a large portion of the population’s talent pool. To close this gap, it is important to foster an interest in cybersecurity in young girls — even as early as grade school.
“[On March 12] the Girl Scouts celebrated their 111th birthday and as we kick off Girl Scouts Week, I can’t think of a better way to recognize their impact on every community in America than to formalize our relationship so we can continue to work together to train the next generation of cybersecurity talent our nation so badly needs,” said 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.”
In 2017, CISA provided thought collaboration and helped steer the creation of GSUSA’s 18 cybersecurity badges. In less than five years, more than 315,000 cybersecurity badges have been earned by Girl Scouts. Additionally, in 2021, the Department of Homeland Security and CISA partnered with CYBER.ORG and GSUSA to launch the 2021 Girl Scout Cyber Awareness Challenge to help develop the next generation of diverse cybersecurity talent.
This recent MOU builds on CISA’s work to ensure the field of cybersecurity reflects the diversity of America as well as close the gender gap in cybersecurity which can ease the cyber workforce shortage.