ESET Australia launches 2024 Women in Cybersecurity Scholarship competition

ESET Australia launches 2024 Women in Cybersecurity Scholarship competition

In celebration of International Women’s Day, ESET Australia have announced its third annual Women in Cybersecurity Scholarship program.

For the second year, ESET Australia is teaming up with Minister for Home Affairs and Cyber Security, Clare O’Neil, to empower women pursuing education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. As part of this commitment, ESET is offering a Cybersecurity Scholarship of $5,000 to an exemplary female student currently enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate program within the STEM field.

Applications for the scholarship are now open and will close May 1st 2024,  the winner will be announced on World Day for Cultural Diversity, 21st May 2024. In addition to the award, Minister Clare O’Neil is extending an exclusive opportunity to the scholarship recipient, an invitation to Parliament House for a meeting during a sitting week, a truly unique occasion for professional engagement and recognition.

ESET APJ President, Parvinder Walia, believes that female professionals are still underrepresented in the cybersecurity industry and that the scholarship will break down barriers and support the next generation of female cybersecurity experts. “We believe this initiative, and our alignment with Minister O’Neil, as a leader for Australia’s Cyber Security portfolio, will inspire more women into the IT Security sector,” said Walia.

Likewise, Minister Clare O’Neil, believes that the scholarship will go a long way in encouraging more women into entering the cybersecurity and STEM field. “We are embarking on a new era of cybersecurity capability in this country, and are aiming to be a world leader in cyber security by 2030,” said O’Neil. The number of females in cybersecurity is growing, but it’s important that Australia motivates and inspires more women into the field.

The latest data from STEM Equity Monitor revealed that women comprise only 15% of the STEM-qualified workforce in Australia, but this proportion is increasing. The Australian Cyber Security Growth Network estimates that Australia will need in excess of 16,000 skilled workers by 2026 and that encouraging female professionals into the technology space will go some way to fill those roles.

Waila hopes that initiatives like the Women in Cybersecurity Scholarship will encourage more females into the sector. “Eradicating cybercrime needs a global army of passionate cybersecurity evangelists with different perspectives. The increase of women coming into this robust workforce adds to the [industry’s] strength and diversity of expertise,” said Walia.

The 2023 winner of the scholarship, Shradha Angrish (pictured), is studying a double degree for a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Mechanical) and Bachelor of Mathematical and Computer Sciences at the University of Adelaide. On acceptance of the award, Angrish said, “Being awarded this scholarship is an honour and a privilege that inspires me to do more…It’s an incredible reminder that there are people and support systems that want me to succeed.”

2022 winner, Alaina Lawson, who studied a Bachelor of IT majoring in cybersecurity at the Australian National University, went on to work in an engineering role with a cybersecurity firm, alongside her full-time studies.

Applicants for the ESET Women in Cybersecurity Scholarship must be enrolled in or accepted to an accredited college or university within Australia, be an Australian citizen or permanent resident, and have a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA (or equivalent GPA in 9.0 scale).


Click here to access the application