GCHQ seeks Jane Bond schoolgirls
A CODE-CRACKING contest for girls aged 12 to 13 is aimed at recruiting more GCHQ female spies and cyber fighters.
Women account for 11 per cent of the current global cyber workforce, according to the intelligence agency famed for its female Second World War staff.
The CyberFirst Girls competition, run by GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre, will test participants in four areas: cryptography, cyber security, logic and coding, and networking. The teams of four will be whittled down to a grand final to be held in Edinburgh in March.
Baroness Trumpington, who died last week aged 96, was one of the most famous female code-breakers. She was among 8,000 women based at Bletchley Park who helped to decipher Nazi codes.
The women accounted for 75 percent of Bletchley’s staff, although credit has gone to the male code-breakers, most famously Alan Turing. Now the Government is hoping to show girls a career in online espionage can be equally “exciting”.
Digital Minister Margot James said: “We want to show girls across the country cyber security is exciting, rewarding and challenging.
“The CyberFirst Girls competition will help inspire the workforce of the future and show girls that whatever their background or interest, a career in cyber security is fulfilling.”