Philanthropic funding from organization of craigslist founder to fuel launch of Veterans Assistance Program, support women veterans in cybersecurity
November 21, 2019 – National nonprofit Women in CyberSecurity (WiCyS) has received a $150,000 gift from Craig Newmark Philanthropies to expand its work to recruit, retain and advance women in the cybersecurity field.
It is predicted that, by 2021, there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs around the world. Simultaneously, women currently make up 20 percent of the global industry, according to a March 2019 study. WiCyS works to help fill this industry gap with much-needed talent by training women in cybersecurity and connecting them with meaningful career opportunities. Since its inception in 2013, over 4,900 women in cybersecurity have participated in the organization’s annual conference. “WiCyS is a tribe of like-minded peers and mentors,” said Ambareen Siraj, founder of Women in CyberSecurity. “We are a community that shares, supports, and, most importantly, works together to end under-representation of women in cyber.”
With this philanthropic funding from the organization of craigslist founder Craig Newmark, WiCyS builds on its track record by launching the Veterans Assistance Program. This new effort offers exclusive opportunities to women veterans who are either currently in cyber or aspiring to transition into the field. The program helps veterans connect with WiCyS sponsors and partners, earn a discounted WiCyS membership, apply for the Veteran Fellowship Award, belong to an effective community forum, and more.
“There is a serious need in the US for talented people to help protect our democracy and defend the country from cyber threats,” said Newmark. “WiCyS is helping veterans and other women answer that call by connecting them with opportunities and resources to succeed, ultimately beginning to remove the many roadblocks that continue to prevent women from advancing in the field.”
The gift will also allow WiCyS student chapter members to compete for free in the National Cyber League (NCL) virtual cybersecurity competition, powered by Cyber Skyline. This competition experience helps to provide another layer of skills that are needed to advance in the cybersecurity workforce.
Women in CyberSecurity (WiCyS) is the premier nonprofit organization with international reach dedicated to bringing together women in cybersecurity. Founded by Dr. Ambareen Siraj from Tennessee Tech University through a National Science Foundation grant in 2013, WiCyS offers opportunities and resources for its members and collaboration benefits for its sponsors and partners. The organization’s founding partners are Cisco, Facebook and Palo Alto Networks. WiCyS’ strategic partners include Amazon Web Services, Cisco, Equifax, Facebook, Fidelity Investments, Google, IBM, Lockheed Martin, Nike, Optum, PayPal, SANS Institute, and Target. To sponsor the upcoming 2020 conference, visit https://www.wicys.org/conference-sponsor. To become a strategic partner for all year long engagement, visit https://www.wicys.org/become-a-partner.
About Craig Newmark Philanthropies
Craig Newmark Philanthropies was created by craigslist founder Craig Newmark to support and connect people and drive broad civic engagement. It works to advance people and grassroots organizations that are getting stuff done in areas that include trustworthy journalism & the information ecosystem, voter protection, gender diversity in technology, and veterans & military families. For more information, please visit: CraigNewmarkPhilanthropies.org.