“The opportunities for women to work in cybersecurity in the Middle East have been limited in the past, and it is time to change that,” says Koo Samer Samman, Executive Director of Human Resources at KAUST.
The initiative launched by the National Authority for Cybersecurity at the Global Forum on Cyber Security early this year to support women workers in this field, as part of a series of initiatives that confirm the Kingdom’s commitment to increasing women’s participation in the labor market within the framework of Vision 2030.
Samman adds: “We are pioneers of this type of program in the Kingdom. We stand with the National Authority for Cyber Security and we hope that the KAUST program will accelerate the career path of women in cybersecurity, and will complete many other similar initiatives.”
It is noteworthy that the inaugural program was attended by four female graduates from Prince Muqrin Bin Abdulaziz University in Medina, who had completed their formal training in integrated risk management.
KAUST and RSA will continue for a year and a half to provide graduates with guidance, guidance and support in the workplace while applying what they have been trained to do while working at university, to contribute to protecting them from digital risks.
Bahia Al-Akhdar, one of the participants in the program, says: “I think that Saudi women play a vital role in achieving the 2030 vision, and defending our country from cyber attacks, and I say to those who are considering applying to participate in the KAUST program to accelerate the career of women in cybersecurity, or any similar initiative Throughout the Kingdom, cybersecurity is a sector through which women can make a positive impact on their organization, society and country. ”
The curators expect the KAUST program to accelerate the career path, to become a continuous initiative held every year or two, with the participation of two to four female graduates in each session, to give the participants the opportunity to work in different areas of digital risk management, to help them to continue their career and ensure obtaining jobs in teams Cyber security or risk assessment and governance and compliance with it in local institutions.
The participants will also receive fully funded RSA training on the RSA Archer®️ tool kit, which is used by the KAUST’s Risk Assessment, Governance and Compliance team to manage cybersecurity operations, risk assessment and governance and compliance.
It is noteworthy that women globally represent less than a quarter of the workforce in cybersecurity, as well as the rapidly expanding skill gap that many companies are still working to reduce.
“We believe it is imperative that cybersecurity companies like RSA support initiatives that bridge the cyber skills gap to provide a role model in the broader technology sector, and what sends it,” says Gennaro Scalo, director of the Group’s Risk Committee at RSA in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “I am proud that my RSA team has equal gender representation, and I am delighted to see these young Saudi women set the stage for this to become a rule, not an exception.”
Iyad Suleiman, Director of Information Security at KAUST adds: “After I took the lead in a team that never includes female representation for many years, I personally feel proud of my contribution to launching this program, and welcoming the four graduates as members of my team. Initiatives like this represent an important milestone in Tamkeen’s journey Saudi women, and increasing human cadres in cyber security. ”