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Enhancing safety in a digital world
by bringing more girls and women into cybersecurity.
A Report by the Girl Scout Research Institute
The Shortage of Women in Tech Is a National Security Problem
Women are grossly underrepresented in cybersecurity and hold a minority of leadership roles within the field. Since 1990, women’s representation has actually decreased in computer science jobs.
Source: Pew Research Center: Diversity in the STEM workforce varies widely across jobs
Breaking the Firewall
Cybersecurity attacks are one of the top risks that companies and individuals alike face, and it affects every aspect of our lives—from the integrity of our elections to the safety of our infrastructure to the protection of our data and even our identities.
In 2017, the global cost of cybercrime was an estimated
It’s a Cybersecurity Arms Race— and We’re Not Winning...Yet
It’s estimated that 3.5 million global cybersecurity jobs will be unfilled by 2021 due to the lack of qualified workers.
Estimated number of unfilled cybersecurity jobs by 2021.
1 in 4
Qualified workers who apply for these roles.
Source: Cybersecurity Talent Crunch To Create 3.5 Million Unfilled Jobs Globally By 2021
A Lack of Female Representation
Leads to Blind Spots in Tech
When new technology doesn’t take women’s and girls needs into account, this ignores the needs of a broader society, including vital safety and privacy concerns.
In the U.S., women may represent about half of the internet’s and social media’s users, but they are underrepresented among those who create the rules and privacy guardrails that make using digital technologies a safe experience.
When the Apple Health app was first released in 2014, it allowed users to track a diverse amount of health data but had one glaring omission: menstrual cycles.
The app ignored one of the most important aspects of health for half the population simply because there were no women in the room when it was developed.
Diversifying the Tech Industry
by Including Women
Cybercriminals are not a homogenous group; they come from a wide variety of backgrounds and geographic locations and bring diverse skillsets and experiences. Therefore, to combat them, we need an equally diverse cybersecurity workforce—and that includes women.
It was the confidence I developed as a young Girl Scout that gave me the courage to do something that not a lot of girls were doing at the time. In my case, it was engineering; for this generation of girls, it will be cybersecurity.
CEO, Girl Scouts of the USA
Tyler Cohen Wood
Cybersecurity Expert, career experience with government, Department of Defense, federal law enforcement, and the intelligence community
...there have been many times during my career where I felt like I was in an old boys’ club where women were pushed out. This affects what is being developed and whose voice is being listened to. We have to have diversity and inclusion; we cannot just have one single point of view.
How to Bring More
Women into Cybersecurity
We need to create a strong future workforce by educating girls about why cybersecurity matters and giving them the skills and opportunities they’ll need to pursue careers in the field. This includes emphasizing to girls that they have what it takes to lead in the digital and technology space, as girls are often given less encouragement than boys.
As the preeminent leadership development organization for girls, Girl Scouts is perfectly positioned to accomplish this goal.
Girls are particularly interested in using STEM to make the world a better place.
When it comes to cybersecurity, we need to help them make the connection to how it relates to their interests, lives, and goals for the future.
Then we need to support them with the training, mentoring, and hands-on experiences they’ll need to keep themselves safe online today and assume leadership positions in cybersecurity tomorrow.
RiskBased Security’s Q3 2019 Data
Breach QuickView Report
Interest in Tech Careers
Non-Girl Scout girls
Girl Scouts Is
Leading the Way
Since 2010, Girl Scouts has been innovating in extracurricular STEM education, growing girls’ interest, confidence, competence, and understanding of the importance of STEM to people and society.
The goal is simple: to ensure that girls are prepared with the skills and experiences to become the STEM leaders of the future.
Girl Scouts pledged to add 2.5 million girls to the future STEM workforce by 2025.
Girl Scouts launched computer science Think Like a Programmer programs for girls in grades K–5.
Girl Scouts collaborated with Palo Alto Networks to introduce Cybersecurity badges for girls in grades K-12.
Girl Scouts collaborated with Raytheon Technologies to introduce computer science Think Like a Programmer programs for girls in grades 6-12.
Girl Scouts have earned more than 1 million STEM badges, including more than 150,000 Cybersecurity badges!
Girl Scouts is collaborating with Raytheon Technologies to launch a national Cyber Challenge for girls to solve a hypothetical ransomware attack.
Hover over the timeline to see Girl Scouts’ recent efforts in this space:
for a New World
Developed in partnership with Palo Alto Networks, a world-leading cybersecurity organization, these badges equip girls with the knowledge, skills, and hands-on experience necessary for them to thrive in the interconnected world we live in and to become the cybersecurity leaders of tomorrow.
Learn about computer parts and how computers are connected, just like you!
Find out how to stay safe when you go online.
Discover how computers gather information and solve problems.
Learn how you use technology and how you can keep your technology safe.
Find out how to be safe when you go online.
Put on your detective hat and solve cyber crimes.
Learn how computers talk to each other.
Find out how to keep your online identity safe.
Become a cybersecurity investigator and learn how to spot threats online.
Explore different hacking techniques and how to protect yourself with basic cybersecurity precautions.
Find out why it’s important to keep your personal information private online and how you can keep your data secure.
Solve a series of fictional cybercrimes using what you know about cybersecurity.
Explore how cybersecurity professionals keep computer networks safe.
Find out how to keep your data and devices safe wherever you go.
Investigate and respond to a fictional cybercrime.
Explore how hackers operate and how hacking can be used for the purposes of corporate and national security.
Find out how to protect your personal data and digital footprint with healthy online habits.
Investigate and respond when a fictional city has been affected by a cyberattack.
A 2020 Report by the Girl Scout Research Institute
Share this research with someone you believe can take action on behalf of girls.
© 2020 Girl Scouts of the United States of America. A 501(c)(3) Organization. All Rights Reserved.
For questions or to explore ways to partner with us in support of girls, contact email@example.com
Help Today’s Girls Become
Tomorrow’s Cybersecurity Leaders!
Women’s representation in computer science jobs
Hover to learn more
Source: Decoding the Digital Girl
Economic Impact of Cybercrime No Slowing Down 2018 Report by McAfee
Bring the exploration, fun, and learning of Girl Scouts to your family even when Girl Scouts can’t meet up in person. Girl Scouts isn’t just something girls go to or do—it’s who they are day in, day out. Use the self-guided, free activities to keep your girl, your troop, and your community connected.
Inspire. Engage. Connect.
Girl Scouts at Home™
Girl Scouts are more likely than non–Girl Scout girls to be interested in tech careers and maintain this interest through adolescence, while other girls show a drop in interest during adolescence.
Girl Scouts collaborated with AT&T and Dell to introduce Coding for Good badges for girls in grades K-12.
As cybercrime grows more advanced, skilled cybersecurity leaders will become even more crucial. At Girl Scouts, girls gain the skills and confidence needed to fill these roles—and this is an important step in dismantling the firewall to their future cybersecurity careers.
Bridge the cyber gap.
Learn more about Girl Scouts
Download the Full Report
A Report by the Girl Scout Research Institute
Closing the gender gap for girls and women in cybersecurity
Number of records containing sensitive information exposed in North America —in just the first nine months of 2019.