ESET Australia launches women in cybersecurity scholarship program 2023

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ESET Australia is once again joining ESET’s global Women in Cybersecurity Scholarship program. 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 open now, and the winner will be announced on International Women’s Day, 8th March 2023. 

ESET Australia Country Manager, Kelly Johnson, says, “Eradicating cybercrime is only possible by bringing different perspectives to the table, and women have a valid place in this diverse and robust workforce. Although the number of women entering the technology sector continues to increase, they still remain underrepresented, particularly in the cybersecurity space.”

Johnson added, “It is difficult for companies attempting to foster greater diversity in their workforce to find women to fill roles. We’ve struggled with this ourselves, and with the ESET Women in Cybersecurity Scholarship, we hope to 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 revealed 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 will need in excess of 16,000 skilled workers by 2026, and encouraging women into the technology space will go some way to fill that gap and those roles.

“Throughout my career in IT, I’ve seen how difficult it can be for women to break into this industry which is traditionally male dominated. It is getting better, and we hope that this scholarship will inspire women to be passionate about a career in cybersecurity and apply for it this year,” confirms Johnson.

Earlier this 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. Alaina also picked up some additional acknowledgements and awards, including being a nominee for the 2021 Australian Woman in Security Best Security Student and a top 10 finalist in the 2021 FAST (Female Advancing in Security and Technology) Awards, since. 

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. 

Click here to access the application!