CyNam brings 1,000 girls together for cyber event at 'secret' Gloucestershire location

In a radical move to capture the hearts and minds of a generation of potential female recruits - and change perceptions that cyber careers are only for their male peers - Gloucestershire-based CyNam is staging a very special event.

By Andrew Merrell  |  Published
More than 1,000 schoolgirls and female students from across Gloucestershire are expected to meet with some of the county's top cyber firms at EmPowerCyber 2022.

A 'fully immersive hands-on workshop-style activity day' for 1,000 Gloucestershire schoolgirls is being staged at a secret location in the county by the influential and well-connected Cheltenham-based cyber group, CyNam.

As well as bringing together a growing number of cyber-related businesses in Gloucestershire, in close proximity to the Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ), CyNam also has a mission to educate everyone – male and female  about opportunities in the sector.

That mission statement includes a determination to help address the real and perceived male/female imbalance within cyber - something it is about to do on an epic scale with its EmPowerCyber day this November 2022. 

The whereabouts of the empowering invite-only event is being kept under wraps to respect safeguarding concerns, but SoGlos can confirm it is being staged in partnership with GFirst LEP, InfoSec People Ltd, software firm Sage and involves many of the county's top cyber firms, with Tesco supporting transport costs for schools.

Madeline Howard from CyNam, who is helping to head up the initiative, said: ‘EmPowerCyber has been designed to excite and inspire young girls.

‘These events are being run in collaboration with some of the most incredible industries and organisations who fundamentally recognise that we won’t see change in the industry unless we do something and do something that really makes a difference. We can’t talk the talk, if we’re not prepared to walk the walk.

‘We’re delighted to have seen such an awesome response from teachers and industries. Events like these give an opportunity for our ecosystem to come together and make a difference to the future of young people.

‘The events are only the start though, this has to be the start industry engagement with the girls. If we want to capture their imagination and showcase to them the incredible opportunity in the industry, we have to be there every step of the way through their education.’

CyNam was keen to stress that as an organisation, it remains dedicated to supporting all school students, male and female, and welcomed enquiries from anyone interested in learning more about the sector in Gloucestershire.

Following the Gloucestershire event, which is due to take place on Friday 25 November 2022, its expertise is being borrowed to help stage a second #EmPowerCyber event for 300 schoolgirls in Newcastle, in support of CyberNorth and the Newcastle United Foundation.

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