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The Hewlett Foundation Cyber Initiative Renews Commitment to Advance Girls in Tech and National Security

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation’s Cyber Initiative has provided $50,000 in renewed support for Girl Security to prepare girls, young women, and gender minorities for national security pathways in cybersecurity.

While the workforce tackling cybersecurity and broader technology challenges continues to grow with a range of career tracks, women only represent 20 percent of the global cybersecurity workforce in 2019 (Cybersecurity Ventures, 2019). Further, in the United States only 9 percent of workers in the cybersecurity industry self-identified as African American or Black (Innovation Through Inclusion: The Multicultural Cybersecurity Workforce, 2018). This lack of diversity and inclusion is at direct odds with the need for a robust talent pipeline that brings an enduring skill set to tackle 21st century security challenges. 

“Cybersecurity is central to a broader national security ecosystem that is facing evolving challenges to girls, women, and marginalized communities,” said Lauren Bean Buitta, founder and CEO of Girl Security. “Inclusive approaches and equitable solutions from a more diverse and representative workforce are needed to confront increasingly complex gendered and racist digital threats.”

The renewed support will fund Girl Security’s ongoing efforts to provide accessible learning;  financially-supported, high school-to-college-to career training that builds enduring skills for a future workforce shaped by security and technology; relationship-based mentoring, which helps to provide the social capital and networks that are often required to advance in male-dominated fields; and broader efforts to elevate the voices of girls, women, and gender minorities in national security debates. 

“We are thrilled to support Girl Security’s vital work empowering girls and young women in cybersecurity and national security,” said Kelly Born, Director of the Hewlett Foundation Cyber Initiative. “With women accounting for less than a quarter of the cybersecurity workforce, it’s critical that we close the gender gap, and Girl Security is a pioneer in this field.”

About Girl Security: Founded in 2016, Girl Security has been forging equity in national security. With partnerships across the nation and globally, Girl Security is preparing the next generation of national security leaders. Follow Girl Security on Twitter @GirlSecurity_ and Instagram @GirlSecurity_.