/ cyber security

Gender balance in cyber begins with ACCESS

Last week the UNSW School of Computer Science gave 36 young women an unforgettable introduction to the world of cyber security as part of the ACCESS for Women programme.

The program provides several days of immersive workshops and challenges for female year 11 and 12 students to introduce them to the opportunities available in the field of Computer Science.

As one of three sponsors (alongside Metamako and WiseTech Global), Commonwealth Bank focused on providing the young women an introduction to the world of cyber security, where today women make up only 10 percent of the global workforce.

The program gave the students a tour of CommBank's Cyber Security Centre in Sydney and some face time with several young employees currently working in the field.

The day concluded with a 'cyber scavenger hunt' developed by CBA grads and interns, in which teams of students were taught how to build a WiFi network sniffer from a Raspberry Pi, and how to use the device to collect a series of clues as part of a Capture the Flag competition.

Every student took home their own kitted-out Raspberry Pi for further experimentation.

Feedback from the students after the event demonstrated how empowering such an experience can be for a high school student, with 96 per cent of the students responding that the event was exciting or "extremely exciting".

"The students were inspired by seeing actual practitioners and role models, and seeing them loving their own careers," said Richard Buckland, Associate Professor at UNSW. "At the end we had a group of female students excited about the possibility of a fulfilling career in computing."

You can read more about ACCESS for Women at UNSW's web page.