ESET Australia And Minister Clare O’Neil Launch Women in Cybersecurity Scholarship Program

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ESET Australia is launching this year's ESET Women in Cybersecurity Scholarship Program, and we are joining forces with Home Affairs and Cyber Security Minister, Clare O’Neil.

ESET Australia will be awarding $5,000 to a woman currently enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate program majoring in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) field.

Applications are now open, and the winner will be announced on International Women’s Day, at Canberra House by the Minister, 8th March 2023. 

Minister O’Neil was enthusiastic about the scholarship and what it means. “We are embarking on a new era of cybersecurity capability in this country, and aiming to be the most cyber-secure country by 2030. Our cybersecurity workforce has never been more important. The percentage of women in cybersecurity is growing, and initiatives such as ESET’s scholarships compliment the work the Government is doing to support that influx of women. Women rising through ranks in cybersecurity will encourage the younger generation into STEM related studies, and into technical roles.” 

ESET APJ President, Parvinder Walia, said, “Eradicating cybercrime needs a global army of passionate cybersecurity evangelists with different perspectives, and the increase of women coming into this robust workforce adds to the strength and diversity of expertise. We hope that incentives like this scholarship, and our alignment with Minister O’Neil, as a leader for Australia’s Cyber Security portfolio, will inspire the continued increase of women into the cybersecurity sector.” 

Walia also added, “Women are still very much underrepresented in the cybersecurity industry. I believe that with the ESET Women in Cybersecurity Scholarship, we can break down some barriers of entry in order to support the next generation of female cybersecurity experts.”

In Australia, the latest data from the Bureau of Statistics reveals that women comprise only 15% of the STEM-qualified workforce. Internationally, an (ISC)2 Women in Cybersecurity survey conducted in 2021 across three continents found that men outnumber women three to one in the field of cybersecurity, underscoring the importance of supporting women in their pursuit of a degree in STEM.

Naturally, as more women succeed in cybersecurity, it will be easier to attract even more women into the field. The Australian Cyber Security Growth Network estimates that the country may need in excess of 16,000 skilled workers by 2026, and encouraging women into the technology space will go some way toward filling  that gap and those roles. 

Acknowledging throughout his career that it can be difficult for women to break into the industry, as it’s traditionally male dominated, Walia added: “It is getting better, and we hope that this scholarship will inspire women who are studying areas important to the industry, to be passionate about a career in cybersecurity and apply for it this year.”

Last year, Alaina Lawson, who is studying for a Bachelor of IT majoring in cybersecurity at the Australian National University, was the inaugural recipient of the award. She has since gone on to work in an engineering role with a cybersecurity firm, alongside her full-time studies. 

Applicants for the ESET Women in Cybersecurity Scholarship must be enrolled in or accepted to an accredited college or university within Australia, be an Australian citizen or permanent resident, and have a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA (or equivalent GPA in 9.0 scale).

Those ineligible are still encouraged to share this opportunity with those they know that do fit the criteria and warrant the recognition.

To apply for the scholarship, please follow this link


About ESET
For more than 30 years, ESET® has been developing industry-leading IT security software and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, and consumers worldwide from increasingly sophisticated digital threats. From endpoint and mobile security to endpoint detection and response, as well as encryption and multifactor authentication, ESET’s high-performing, easy-to-use solutions unobtrusively protect and monitor 24/7, updating defenses in real time to keep users safe and businesses running without interruption. Evolving threats require an evolving IT security company that enables the safe use of technology. This is backed by ESET’s R&D centers worldwide, working in support of our shared future. For more information, visit or follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.