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Industry body offers mentorship programme to groom women in cybersecurity

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(From left) Sherin Y Lee, head of AiSP’s Ladies in Cyber charter; Steven Wong, AiSP president; Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth; and Diana Tan, executive vice-president of Ensign at the launch of the programme.

THE Association of Information Security Professionals has launched a mentorship programme to groom female cybersecurity professionals in Singapore.

The Ladies in Cyber Mentorship programme has seen close to 50 mentors from cybersecurity, regulatory compliance, audit, product management and marketing sign up.

The association said that it aims to double the number of mentors by end-2020.

Mentors will share their life lessons and work experience with interested students from institutes of higher learning in Singapore over one year, it added.

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Participants will be able to hear about their mentors’ work goals, skills, career progression strategies, education pathways and approaches to solving work-related problems.

They will visit the mentors’ work environments, attend meetings and conferences, and review documentation and publications together.

The programme will also see participants getting advice on job application, communication skills and teamwork.

The programme is sponsored by homegrown cybersecurity firm Ensign InfoSecurity, a 60:40 joint venture between state investment firm Temasek Holdings and listed telco StarHub.

Sherin Y Lee, head of APAC marketing and brand communications at Ensign, is the programme lead, and the head of the association’s Ladies in Cyber charter.

The charter was set up in November 2018 to develop, advance and include women in the cybersecurity field, with the aim of attaining greater gender diversity in the industry.

Run by women volunteers from the industry, the charter serves as a platform to facilitate knowledge transfer, networking and mentoring to attract and develop cybersecurity talent.

"Women have every potential to play a larger role in Singapore’s defence," said Ms Lee. "AiSP (the association) aims to help them along by increasing their awareness of cybersecurity issues, drawing them into the industry, and progressing to leadership positions.

"Such cybersecurity talent development programmes will have a big impact on Singapore because we are so digitally connected as a society − from the smart watches we wear to the utility meters in our homes."