Teenage girls encouraged to pursue future cybersecurity careers

One of Britain’s leading intelligence agencies is hoping that social media-savvy teenage girls can become future cyber security recruits.

To help encourage more girls to think about a career in cybersecurity, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) is launching a competition where girls aged 13 to 15 will compete in logic, coding, networking and cryptography tests.

Women currently only make up 10% of the global cyber workforce, the agency says.

The competition will see girls, working in teams of four, complete online tasks remotely on their school computers, progressing through more difficult stages.

The 10 groups with the highest scores will then be invited to the CyberFirst competition final in London to investigate a complex cyber threat.

The overalls winners will receive individual prizes as well as £1000 worth of computer equipment for their school.

Government Communications Headquarters Director Robert Hannigan said: “I work alongside some truly brilliant women who help protect the UK from all manner of online threats. The CyberFirst Girls competition allows teams of young women a glimpse of this exciting world and provides a great opportunity to use new skills.”


Edited from press release by Cecilia Rehn.