NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--iQ4 Corporation, a centralized platform which helps students, academia, business and government collaborate to transform and scale the workforce of the future, announced today at the Women in Cyber Leadership Reception in New York City, a partnership with Women in Cyber Leadership (WCL). WCL brings together women who are established thought leaders in their sector, and helps bring new additions into the cybersecurity industry to scale the representation of women, to share their knowledge, experiences, and insights to develop a more comprehensive understanding of current and upcoming cybersecurity issues.
As part of this partnership, iQ4, the Cyber Workforce Alliance (CWA), a division of iQ4, and the WCL will also join forces with Cyber NYC, a recently announced initiative with the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) that plans to transform New York City into a global leader of cybersecurity innovation and talent to combat one of the world’s greatest threats.
Cyber NYC, the City’s initiative to grow the cybersecurity sector, announced on Oct. 2, with iQ4, plans to leverage a roster of world-renowned partners to launch a Global Cyber Center, an innovation hub for startups, initiatives to fuel commercialization and research, and new talent pipelines to train the cyber workforce of the future.
Research shows a widening of the global cybersecurity workforce gap. According to the 2018 (ISC)2 Cybersecurity Workforce Study, by the end of 2018 nearly three million jobs will go unfilled across North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific (APAC), and Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
“iQ4 and the CWA are thrilled to be involved with one of the leading organizations that will help bring more women in to the cybersecurity field. It has been widely reported that millions of jobs will go unfilled globally, and we need to be able to diversify this sector and bring more women into it to address the issue,” said Frank Cicio, founder and chief executive officer, iQ4 Corporation. “Cybersecurity is booming, and the industry is facing a massive talent shortage. This opens up the opportunity for well-paying, secure positions for candidates --especially women- with the right qualifications. We want to help close the skills gap and we have the secret sauce to make this happen.”
WCL is comprised of experts across all areas of cybersecurity; lawyers, technical consultants, insurance professionals, risk managers, and communications and media specialists, who advise companies on how to anticipate, and address, the cybersecurity issues that are critical to their operations.
“Partnering with organizations like iQ4 and the CWA is critical for us to achieve our goals as we are moving full force to provide opportunities for women in cybersecurity and career pathways to address issues like risk, resilience and technology related-challenges,” said Jennifer Rothstein, co-founder, WCLA. “As women are emerging as leaders in this field, we are proud to create this supportive forum, and these types of partnerships to encourage women to be part of the cybersecurity workforce.”
The partnership with iQ4, the CWA and WCL will provide knowledge and intelligence transfer and mutual exchange by reciprocally offering the 250 members of the WCL and 1000 members of the CWA to join each other’s community. It will also align the forces of these organizations allowing WCL members to participate as mentors in CWA courses to achieve a common aim of scaling women in cybersecurity and the Cyber NYC initiative. It will help to level the playing field for all students in the profession, regardless of privilege, ethnicity, background or schooling to change the world by creating awareness and real-world experiences to inspire cybersecurity careers.
iQ4 will support the WCL by providing mentoring programs that will empower female students, from any major or discipline, with pertinent knowledge to become “workforce ready” -- enabling employers to cast-a-wider-net to find qualified student candidates who align with their skills requirements.
Companies that are working with iQ4, the CWA and others will be able to develop the next-generation workforce in accordance with the demands of the market because iQ4 and its academic and business partners are together providing the proper training, mentorships and applied learning programs that create a competent workforce.
“Companies are looking to diversify-- and working with WCL will help,” said Cicio. “Diversity encourages a culture where different opinions can be brought together to develop innovative solutions to solve some of the toughest problems we face on issues like cybersecurity. The industry is definitely grappling with the disadvantages of the gender imbalance, we are hopeful that partnerships like this will help move the industry in the right direction, with over 40 percent of our students female our focus on public schools is paying off and proving that given an opportunity, students can accomplish anything.”
What our partners are saying:
“The apprenticeship programs produce graduates that are workforce ready.
In the field of cyber security, where we see significant shortages in
trained specialists, these programs close a critical gap for both the
public and private sector. iQ4 has been a leader and an innovator in
developing integrated learning platforms that connect students with
experts in the field. But what I like most about their approach is that
it encourages women to participate and it provides a platform for
introducing greater diversity into the workforce.”
William Mayville Jr., retired Lieutenant General of the American Army, former Vice Commander for U.S. Cyber Command, and contractor for iQ4
“Cyber NYC is focused on creating more opportunities for New Yorkers of
all backgrounds. The partnership between iQ4 and Women in Cyber
Leadership will build on our critical work of attracting more women into
this high-growth industry, and making it more competitive by ensuring
that the makeup of New York City's cybersecurity sector reflects the
diversity that defines the five boroughs.”
Ana Ariño, Chief Strategy Officer, NYCEDC
“Mentoring for CWA is one of the most rewarding things I’ve done in my
career. I am passionate about the security industry, and CWA gives me
the chance to influence young people in the direction of cybersecurity
as a career, passing on knowledge and enthusiasm for the space through
curriculum development, mentor recruitment, and especially the
week-by-week coaching of students. The “work” we do as security
professionals becomes fun and exciting again when seen through the eyes
of students. CWA is good for students, mentors, and the industry!”
Teresa Durocher, Vice President, Information Security, Citizens Bank
“It is very difficult to expect women to pursue a field that lacks
representation or diversity. To be honest, I struggle even in my current
role and involvement in the industry to find role models in
cybersecurity who essentially—look like me. That is why the work that
iQ4 is doing is so important because it is ensuring that women,
especially women of color, are exposed to the opportunities that a
career path in cybersecurity and technology abets them with. If we want
to see change and diversity in a field that is so high-demand, we need
to equip the next generation of women for these roles, and iQ4 is doing
Joy Nuga, Risk Analyst, Goldman Sachs, and graduate of Hunter College
“I am so grateful to iQ4 and CWA because of the confidence and level of
preparedness they provided me when I was part of their program. Between
my degree, the CWA program, and the subsequent summer internship I was
awarded at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, I am now well
positioned for my career in IT risk. Today’s partnership that was
announced with the WCL opens more doors and career paths to other women
like me to start a successful career in cybersecurity. Bringing more
women in to the fold and providing the fundamentals in cybersecurity is
sure to help fill more jobs in this exciting industry.”
Allison Bridges, Cyber Intelligence Analyst for the New York State Police
iQ4 is a workforce and mobility platform, which enables applied learning through the strategic collaboration between students, academia, and the business world. The acquisition of skills during the mentoring program empowers students with pertinent knowledge for future prospects. Companies are able to develop the next-generation workforce in accordance with the demands of the market. iQ4 facilitates the creation of a competent workforce by uniting the independent initiatives of industry and academia.
About Cybersecurity Workforce Alliance (CWA)
The CWA is a division of iQ4 Corporation formed as a collaborative alliance with leading Wall Street CISOs and the City University of New York in 2015, with a mission to improve the cybersecurity skills and scale of the college/university student workforce so they are more attractive to hire and can provide almost immediate value to the public and private sectors by improving an organization’s cybersecurity resilience and capabilities.
The CWA and iQ4 has cracked the code on mobilizing industry and education with student readiness via virtual-internships and apprenticeships. Currently, the CWA has over 1,000 global members, has produced over 1,000 CWA Alumni and has been selected by the Economic Development Corporation of New York, as the Applied Learning Platform to train 10,000 students as part of CyberNYC in the next 3-years, from Spring 2019.