CyberWomen Groups C.I.C – Shaping the future of young professionals in Cyber Security.

Written by Sophie Powell; Co-Founder and Director of CyberWomen Groups C.I.C.

As the Cyber Security industry continues to evolve, addressing the gender gap and encouraging more women into cyber-based careers is at the forefront of conversation. As two previous students at the University of Warwick on their Cyber Security Bachelor’s course, it was a topic which both Jenny and I were heavily involved with and passionate about. From our experiences, we felt we had found an opportunity in the Cyber Security industry that was yet to be addressed and support to be offered, which was the beginning of the story for CyberWomen Groups C.I.C.

The History of CyberWomen Groups C.I.C.

As one of six women on my Undergraduate course, whilst in the middle of a global pandemic, it was very easy to start feeling isolated on my adventure into Cyber Security. Whilst there is a very vibrant InfoSec community both across LinkedIn and Twitter, I found it very difficult to find people my own age, going through the same stage in life who could relate to some of the emotions I felt.

Jenny and I met by luck – we were in the same lab group during COVID as we were allowed to attend in-person teaching once a week. We’ve been inseparable ever since. Ironically, during our first year, we used to joke about one day co-owning a business together.

In March 2022, we founded CyberWomen@Warwick. I was approached by a lecturer in the University who wanted to make the women on the course feel more empowered, and suggested organising a coffee morning with a speaker who inspired me into the industry.

Come October 2022, CyberWomen@Warwick hosted their first national CyberWomen conference. Not quite the coffee morning planned, but an incredible day of speakers and networking. With speakers including Sarah Armstrong-Smith and Sarah Morris, we saw over 250 attendees come through our doors.

On that day, I was approached by an attendee who asked what was next for CyberWomen@Warwick. It was a good question too, because we simply could not have anticipated the number of people who loved what we had created and wanted to get involved.

Fast forward to July 2023, after a successful year of CyberWomen@Warwick growing its wings, Jenny and I co-founded CyberWomen Groups C.I.C. As a non-profit organisation, we exist to start new branches in Universities across the UK, offering support, guidance, and funding. These branches work with us to set their own unique goals they would like to achieve in the year, arrange events and provide outreach to the younger generations. We also act as a bridge between industry and University, providing opportunities that support our teams furthering their careers once they graduate.

Breaking Barriers: Treating students as professionals

As a priority, we encourage our executive teams to organise and function as professionals. Whilst we thrive off being informal in many respects and embrace the fact that we are young business owners, any work carried out by the team is always to an impeccable standard. We firmly believe that students offer a flair of creativity and risk when tasked with challenges such as holding events, and with the nurturing and experience as an executive of a branch, this always succeeds. With two national conferences, two Capture the Flags and webinars just to sample a few, they have proven that with the right support, they can achieve incredible things.

In time, we hope this will continue to break barriers in the industry and amplify the voices of students and their beliefs. Since incorporating, we have already seen a significant rise in the involvement of many professional bodies with our students and will continue to push for further opportunity. Many are doing outreach activities in schools and are becoming recognised as inspirational role models in the education sector to the younger generation and teachers alike. This progress shows the necessity for such hard-working, passionate individuals in our cyber spaces, doing such vital work to address the lack of diversity across the sector.

So, what’s next?

With four active branches, and four already in the pipeline for next year, it’s no secret that we have some tricks up our sleeve.

The CIC has been focused on expanding our connections, onboarding both sponsors and partners to ensure the business can continue to thrive. While sponsors will be announced in the new year, we are delighted to have formed partnerships with both the UK Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge and STEM Ambassadors. We hope these partnerships will continue to provide incredible new opportunities for our teams, and further our outreach to make us more accessible as a business.

We are also holding an event in celebration of International Women’s Day – keep an eye on our channels for more information on this soon!

CyberWomen@Warwick have had their recovery time from the national conference in October and are in the process of organising several outreach activities with local schools and hubs. They are also in talks of collaboration with some very exciting people, but all to be revealed in good time…

CyberWomen@Coventry went straight from the conference to their very own CTF in collaboration with University of Coventry’s ComSoc. With a ‘Chilling Enigma’ theme, they are excelling in their red team skills and will continue to do so into next year.

CyberWomen@UWE recently had their first event as an official branch, attending ‘Empower’ to put on a Murder Mystery Cryptography challenge for 1000 Year 8 girls. Whilst currently organising another event for February with an intriguing theme, we are to expect something big from them in June time.

CyberWomen@Portsmouth is our newest branch, and we are working with them to plan out some collaborations for next year. In the meantime, however, you can expect them to keep you busy over Christmas!

And, of course, we are all busy planning next year’s annual conference, with promises that it will be bigger and better than ever!

Final Reflections

The journey of CyberWomen Groups C.I.C. has been one of growth, empowerment, and breaking barriers in the realm of cybersecurity. From the inception of CyberWomen@Warwick to the establishment of CyberWomen Groups C.I.C., our mission to address the gender gap and support women in cybersecurity has evolved into a nationwide initiative. 

Looking ahead, we invite all interested parties to join our community or explore potential collaborations by reaching out to us at Your involvement contributes to our mission of creating a more inclusive and diverse cybersecurity landscape. As we close the year, we extend our gratitude to everyone who has been part of our story, and we eagerly anticipate the future achievements of CyberWomen Groups C.I.C. and our branches.

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