The Manitoba government is investing $25,000 in a micro-credential cyber security course at the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology (MITT) that will be offered to high school girls.
“International Day of the Girl is an opportunity to highlight the role girls play as powerful voices for change in their families, their communities and their nations, and to reaffirm our collective commitment to advancing gender equality,” said Sport, Culture and Heritage Minister Cathy Cox, minister responsible for the status of women. “The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on women in the workforce and has reinforced how important it is to be able to connect virtually with one another and to do so safely. Our government is proud to provide this opportunity for young women to gain important skills and explore future career options in the rapidly growing industry of cyber security.”
In 2012, the United Nations declared Oct. 11 as the International Day of the Girl to recognize young women around the world as important citizens and powerful voices of change. The day highlights the rights of girls and the challenges they face, and advocates for greater action and investment to enable them to reach their full potential. This year’s theme ‘Digital generation. Our generation.’ focuses on breaking down the digital gender divide, which has been amplified by the pandemic, so that this generation of girls can become a generation of technologists.
Manitoba’s $25,000 investment will provide 20 high school girls the opportunity to enrol in the three-day Certified Secure Computer User course at MITT later this fall. The course focuses on cyber security and the main threats to data security, and provides students with basic knowledge about how to keep their devices and data secure in both online and offline environments. In addition to hands-on experience, the minister noted the students will hear career stories from women in the field, showcasing the pathways and opportunities for the girls to consider when planning their next academic choices.
“On International Day of the Girl, MITT is excited to offer high school girls in grades 11 and 12 an immersive experience in an interactive environment where they will acquire a fundamental understanding of various computer and network security threats,” said Kathy Knight, dean of ICT programs and executive director of CyberWave at MITT. “The skills learned from this program will help them take the necessary steps to mitigate security exposure. With this understanding of the basics of online safety, they can go on to be advocates for others and take control of their own online presence.”
CyberWave at MITT is committed to improving representation of women in the booming industry of cyber security and removing barriers to entry for girls as a vital first step toward capturing their interest and engaging them in a dynamic, high-paying career opportunity, said the minister.
She noted today’s investment builds on other recent partnerships to support women in trades including a $600,000 investment in a multi-faceted, skilled-trades training initiative for Indigenous women in four northern and remote communities in partnership with the Manitoba Construction Sector Council.
“I am confident that by increasing and supporting gender diversity in the trades and other non-traditional sectors, not only will it help companies thrive and build Manitoba’s economy and communities, but it will have a cumulative benefit of attracting more women to pursue careers in these fields,” said Cox.