MDEC launches comeback career programme for more women to join cybersecurity sector

MDEC chief executive officer Surina Shukri (left) handing Women, Family and Community Development deputy minister Hannah Yeoh a token of appreciation at the launch of new Empowering Women in Cyber Risk Management Programme.

The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) wants more women to become a part of the cybersecurity workforce, by encouraging them to apply for the new Empowering Women in Cyber Risk Management Programme. 

MDEC chief executive officer Surina Shukri described the pioneer programme as an important step towards building a highly-valued workforce with critical skills. 

“This programme will empower women to develop the skills needed for jobs with high-demand in the era of Industry 4.0,” she said. 

Women, Family and Community Development deputy minister Hannah Yeoh at the launch said the programme is “timely”. 

“This is part of a strategic ongoing effort to build up talent in the cybersecurity field as well as to provide skills needed for women to return to the workforce,” Yeoh added, citing as examples women who took time off their careers for motherhood or caregiving for their elderly parents.

According to Yeoh, successful applicants will undergo a three-month training period this year with the programme’s industry partners such as CIMB, PwC Malaysia, Cisco Systems and Asia Cybersecurity Exchange.  

“They will receive training on ways to improve their skills at the workplace and develop insights on the cybersecurity sector. They will also be registered into a global certification programme to show that they have what it takes to be a part of this field,” she said. 

Yeoh added that industry partners have been made aware that the programme is geared towards encouraging women to return to the workforce.  

“They (industry partners) understand that this a career comeback programme. There are core issues or challenges surrounding women in this category.” 

Yeoh hoped that industry partners will look into matters relating to childcare, flexible working hours and allow women to explore options like working from home. 

“Of course the initial first few weeks will require some adjustments. So we have industry partners who understand these requirements and that some women may need time to ease into their roles.” 

During the training period, the trainees will receive a monthly allowance which varies. An incentive of RM10,000 is provided to industry partners to train and offer employment to applicants.  

Surina said MDEC will be open to receiving any number of applications for the Empowering Women in Cyber Risk Management Programme but will start the inaugural training class with 50 spots. Should there be more than 50 applications, MDEC said it is prepared to start more training classes.

Malaysian women with three years corporate working experience who have been out of the workforce for more than six months are encouraged to apply through the website before July 31. 

The programme is a partnership with the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development, TalentCorp, Communications and Multimedia Ministry, National Cyber Security Agency (NASCSA) and Jabatan Pembangunan Wanita (JPW).

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