KUWAIT: Salem Al-Othaina, Chairman and CEO of the Communication and Information Technology Regulatory Authority (CITRA), and Tim Voase, Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy, launched the inaugural meeting of the 'Gulf Women in Cyber Security Fellowship' yesterday. The Fellowship is sponsored by the UK Government and brings together 22 of the most talented female cyber security professionals working in government, academic, critical infrastructure and commercial roles in the six GCC countries.

In his opening speech to the Fellows, British Deputy Head of Mission Tim Voase said: "Statistics show that generally, women are globally under-represented in cyber security, and STEM careers more generally and have to overcome high barriers to get to their positions. Yet women in the Gulf hold key cyber leadership positions. These women set the tone on cyber security for their countries and the region and provide a positive example for the whole world. The UK government is delighted to have established this Fellowship to support these remarkable women, and to ensure that their example and experience can benefit future generations of female cyber security professionals here and around the world."

Welcoming the Fellows on behalf of the State of Kuwait, Engineer Layal Al-Mansoury, Director of Cyber Security at CITRA said: "It is our pleasure to host the first GCC Gulf Women in Cyber Security Fellowship meeting and workshop. The fellowship group is an impressive selection of active women specialists in cyber security in the GCC. I hope this will be a great experience for everyone, and a stepping stone to achieve greater outcome."

The Fellowship is implemented by the UK Government's partner PGI and includes a program of two regional meetings, and a three-day trip to London. It aims to build strong relationships and multi-lateral links between future cyber leaders within the GCC and UK, as well as promoting positive role models for gender diversity within the cyber security industry globally.