Seattle-based technology giant Microsoft has announced a new initiative that seeks to empower young women and underrepresented youths in Asia with cybersecurity skills. The company's Ready4Cybersecurity programme is partnering with local organizations to skill and certify 100,000 young women and underrepresented youths in cybersecurity by 2025.
The initiative aims to address the glaring skills gap in cybersecurity, which has become a pressing concern for governments, businesses and individuals in the digital age. Microsoft's program seeks to help young people gain the necessary skills to tackle cyber threats, while also diversifying the industry by bringing in more women and underrepresented groups.
The new partnerships in Asia will focus on providing access to training and certification programmes to young people, with a particular emphasis on reaching those who have limited access to technology or resources. Microsoft has already partnered with several organizations in the region, including the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore and Cyberabad Police Commissionerate in India.
The partnerships will also provide opportunities for participants to network and connect with industry leaders, with the aim of boosting their employability and career prospects. Microsoft hopes that this initiative will help address the gender and diversity gap in the cybersecurity industry and create more inclusive opportunities for young people.
Speaking about the initiative, Mary Snapp, Corporate Vice President and Head of Microsoft Philanthropies said, "We believe everyone should have access to the digital skills needed to thrive in today's technology-driven economy, and we are committed to creating opportunities for everyone, regardless of their background. By partnering with local organizations, we can make a real difference in empowering young people with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the cybersecurity industry."
The cybersecurity industry is expected to grow significantly in the coming years, with an increasing number of businesses and governments relying on technology to carry out their operations. However, this growth is also expected to widen the skills gap and create a greater need for cybersecurity professionals. With its Ready4Cybersecurity programme, Microsoft is taking proactive steps to address this challenge and ensure that young people have the skills they need to succeed in the digital age.