AU group helps make cybersecurity field welcoming to women

Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 3:28 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Women make up just a quarter of the workforce.

But as the cyber world changes, a group of women at Augusta University are working to change that statistic with a new chapter of Women in Cybersecurity.

JoVi Douglas says she saw a knowledge gap when it came to men and women and cybersecurity, so she seized the chance to establish the group.

“We knew that it would be pivotal for us to have representation of women within the cyber field,” she said.

Its goal is to offer women a supportive environment where they can learn, network, and excel in the field of cybersecurity.

For her, it’s a grassroots effort to help set young women like her up for success in the industry.

“I have been afforded a lot of opportunities in my life to start things from the ground up,” said Douglas. “That’s why I saw this opportunity to lay the groundwork and foundation for a national organization to be here on the Augusta University campus. My vision for the club is to actively recruit, retain, and empower women in the cybersecurity arena.”

The ladies in the AU chapter are hoping to continue that legacy.

“I’ve seen a lot of women struggle to join the field or to just continue being there,” said Vice President of Women in Cybersecurity at AU, Asma Jodeiri.

It provides mentors for those who join like first-year student Hannah Kim.

“They really do give me insight on how I can choose to go in my life. I hope that members can realize that by joining women in cybersecurity, they gain an entire community of support, support for their continuing education and passion in cybersecurity,” she said.

They’re not only hoping to impact women but the entire community.

Jodeiri said: “The more people know what is it and how it’s impacting the community, they will be less targeted for fraud.”

Women in Cybersecurity was launched in 2013 by Dr. Ambareen Siraj through a National Science Foundation grant awarded to Tennessee Tech University.

In a decade, it’s grown into an organization representing a leading alliance between trailblazers from academia, government, and industry.