JEDDAH: An initiative to develop the leadership skills of Saudi women cybersecurity experts was launched this week by Hemaya, the information security association, as part of International Women’s Day.

The initiative, called Wamda, will involve cybersecurity personalities and experts working on a voluntary basis to transfer their experience to female members of Hemaya to empower women and also promote specialized volunteer work.

Hemaya hosted Haitham Alohali, who is Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, at the first meeting of Wamda.

He met several women at the meeting and shared aspects of his professional and leadership experience that could help them on their journey.

Hemaya, which is the first non-profit organization of its kind in Saudi Arabia, enlists cybersecurity experts to help raise awareness about information security.

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The initiative, called Wamda, will involve cybersecurity personalities and experts working on a voluntary basis to transfer their experience to female members of Hemaya to empower women and also promote specialized volunteer work.

It focuses on strengthening its role in the nonprofit sector through three pillars: volunteerism, partnership and sustainability.

Saudi Arabia launched the National Cybersecurity Authority in 2017, which aims to build a resilient and secure cyberspace that promotes growth and prosperity.

In 2020, the NCA developed new initiatives aimed at increasing the number of women in cybersecurity jobs, as well as encouraging and supporting them in pursuing leadership roles in this field.

Empowering women in all areas of Saudi society, including the workforce, is an important part of Vision 2030.

During the Wamda meeting, Alohali also discussed the awards launched by the ministry.

These are presented to individuals and large and medium-sized companies in the sector with the aim of encouraging them to increase the percentage of women in management positions and to promote a working environment suitable for women. An executive program has also been launched to support the success of women leaders in the digital world.

Hemaya has more than 500 members specializing in cybersecurity. Together, they contributed more than 24,000 volunteer hours to the association.

Its cybersecurity experts are all members of six Hemaya-related social groups: The Main, Hemaya Operation, Hemaya GRC, Hemaya Academics, HameyaT and HAT.

HemayaT is a community that brings together several women specializing in cybersecurity.

The chairman of Hemaya’s board of directors, Mutaib Al-Dhubaiti, underlined during the meeting the will of the association to contribute to the promotion of specialized volunteering, the transfer of expertise and the sharing of knowledge between leaders and specialists.

He said Vision 2030 paid particular attention to empowering women and enhancing their role in the labor market, which the Wamda initiative would support by providing specialists with the leadership experience and expertise needed to their success by opening direct channels with Hemaya’s guests.

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