Standard Chartered and Strathmore University Graduate First Cohort of Women in Cyber Mentorship Program

Standard Chartered, in collaboration with @iLabAfrica-Strathmore University, celebrated the graduation of 100 women from the first East Africa Women in Cyber Mentorship Program. This groundbreaking initiative offered a 9-month virtual training program to women residing in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.

The mentorship program employed a self-paced learning model, incorporating mentorship circles and fireside chats. Participants received comprehensive training in both emerging and current areas of cybersecurity. Additionally, they gained valuable soft skills training in personal branding and career growth.

Standard Chartered and Strathmore University 1st cohorts of the East Africa Women in Cyber Mentorship program.

Kariuki Ngari, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank [Kenya and East Africa Cluster], emphasized the vulnerability of Africa to cyber risks. With cyber criminals growing more advanced, organizations across sectors are increasingly seeking advanced and intelligent cybersecurity solutions. This program addresses this need by focusing on cybersecurity training and capacity building, particularly for women. Women currently represent only 24 percent of the overall cybersecurity workforce. By partnering with Strathmore University, Standard Chartered aims to equip the East African region to counter and prevent cyberattacks, which can be financially detrimental. Simultaneously, the program strives to encourage more women to join the cybersecurity field.

Dr. Joseph Sevilla, Director of @iLabAfrica-Strathmore University, added that sophisticated ransomware and attacks have the potential to disrupt businesses and impede growth. As the region undergoes digital transformation, the exposure to cyber risks increases. To protect organizations from these threats, advanced training and access to cybersecurity experts are crucial. Programs like the East Africa Women in Cyber Program not only bridge the cybersecurity skills gap but also build the necessary capacity to counter attacks.

The Cyber Mentorship Program catered to 100 participants and covered various modules in cybersecurity, including Information Security, Cyber Security Capacity Challenges and Measures, Approaches to Managing Cyber Security risks [with a deep dive into NIST], Innovation & Cybersecurity in East Africa, and Cyber Resilience & Testing.

This initiative, led by Standard Chartered in collaboration with Strathmore University’s @iLabAfrica Research and Innovation Centre, welcomed women applicants from Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. To be eligible for the program, participants were required to have a working knowledge of English, a minimum of 2-3 years’ junior-level working experience, a keen interest in pursuing a career in cybersecurity, and access to a computer and stable internet connection.

By shortening the program duration, optimizing mentorship structures, and providing comprehensive training, Standard Chartered and Strathmore University demonstrated their commitment to empowering women in cybersecurity and addressing the region’s growing cyber threats. With increased representation and specialized skills, these graduates are poised to make significant contributions in the field, safeguarding organizations and fostering secure digital environments.

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