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ICTC - Helping Canada increase the cyber diversity pool

The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) is a neutral, not-for-profit national centre of expertise with the mission of strengthening Canada's digital advantage in the global economy. For over 30 years, and with a team of 110 experts, we have delivered forward-looking research, practical policy advice, and capacity building solutions for individuals and businesses. Our goal is to ensure that technology is utilized to drive economic growth and innovation and that Canada's workforce remains competitive on a global scale.

The rising number of cyber attacks in Canada has left thousands of available cybersecurity positions unfilled. More cybersecurity talent is needed, which will require drawing on wider and more diverse talent pool. A recent study found that only 20% of cybersecurity workers in Canada identify as women, and of those only 25% identify as Black, Indigenous, or as Person of Color (BIPOC).

To address this issue, ICTC in partnership with Microsoft, and a select group of post-secondary institutions, is piloting a new initiative aimed at expanding the pool of cybersecurity talent. The Cybersecurity Training and Work-Integrated Learning program provides women and non-binary post- secondary education students access to Microsoft training and certification examinations, along with a 16-week paid work-integrated learning placement in the cybersecurity sector. Participants are matched with mentors and employers in the field, and employers receive up to $7,000 in wage subsidies.

We are excited to be working with any interested Canadian employers and students to make the Canadian cybersecurity field as protected, diverse, and cutting-edge as we can. If interested in participating in our program or subsequent future opportunities, happy to collaborate with all interested parties of the Canadian Cybersecurity Network.