Sandra Leiterman, managing director of the UA Little Rock Cyber Arena, knows how important it is to inspire girls who are interested in studying careers in technology.
The professional industry has a limited number of women in the field, and many girls lose interest during the formative junior high and high school years. That’s what Leiterman is hoping to change during an Empowering Women in Cybersecurity Summit.
“Women currently only represent 11% of the cybersecurity field, so we hope events like this will inspire girls who are interested in cybersecurity and technology careers to pursue their dreams,” she said.
She is one of four women leaders who are planning the Oct. 11 event. The rest of the leadership team includes Tina Moore, director of STEM/Computer Science Continuum for the Arkansas Department of Education, Mary Beth Hatch, coordinator of school innovation for the North Little Rock School District, and Errin Stanger, director of the Innovation Hub.
The free event will be held in person at the Innovation Hub, 204 E. 4th St. in North Little Rock, and online via Zoom from 6-8 p.m. Oct. 11. The event celebrates both International Day of the Girl and Cybersecurity Awareness Month.
The cybersecurity workshop is open to girls in grades 6-12. The event is a perfect fit for girls interested in exploring cybersecurity and technology related careers. Those interested may register via this online form.
Girls attending the cybersecurity workshop will meet female cybersecurity experts, participate in hands-on cybersecurity related activities led by cybersecurity professionals, and learn about cybersecurity education and career options.
The event’s keynote speaker is Hope Goins, majority staff director of the United States House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security. She serves as Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson’s top advisor on the oversight of the Department of Homeland Security and national security throughout the Executive Branch. With over a decade of Capitol Hill experience, Goins has supervised the negotiation of key homeland security legislation, including the authorization of the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office at DHS and the DHS Cybersecurity Strategies Act.
Other presenters for the event include the Little Rock Air Force Base Cybersecurity Squadron, Arkansas Department of Education Computer Science Team, Starbase Arkansas, Becky Passmore, a UA Little Rock adjunct computer science professor and cyber investigator at Kroll Industries, and Lauren Lantz, lead instructor for Full Stack Academy.