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Celebrating cyber security

In spring 2020, just weeks before the pandemic hit, more than 700 pupils across 20 schools were given a lesson in cyber security by staff from PwC Scotland as part of Cyber Scotland Week 2020.

Setting the scene

Cyber Scotland Week 2020 is run by digital technologies trade body ScotlandIS, highlighting the importance of cyber security in our working and personal lives.

This year, we stepped up by asking our people to participate in the event by visiting their local schools and delivering a lesson from our Tech She Can programme to pupils.

Cyber security has become one of the major societal challenges of the internet age, and by helping children become more cyber aware we hoped to not only help keep them safe online, but also illustrate the benefits of a future career in cyber security.

How we helped

More than 20 staff and partners from our Glasgow and Edinburgh offices contacted their local schools and set up lessons during Cyber Week Scotland.

The Tech for Safety and Security lesson, which is aimed at pupils aged nine to 11, is aligned to STEM-related subjects, and is being delivered under the Tech We Can banner, an initiative to encourage more children to study STEM subjects.

Our research has shown that just 27% of females would consider a career in technology, compared to 62% of males, while just 3% of females say tech is their first choice of career. By working with children from school age, we believe it can help change the ratio.

Leading from the front, Claire Reid, Regional Market Leader for PwC Scotland, delivered the lesson at her old primary school in Uddingston, near Glasgow, where she spoke to a classroom full of eager children.

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“Having worked my entire career in technology, as well as being a mum to three children who are beginning their own digital journeys, I know just how important it is for individuals and society overall to be aware of the threat posed by cyber crime, and how to protect themselves.”

Claire Reid, Regional Market Leader, Scotland

Making a difference

Over the course of the week, more than 700 children took part in the lessons, which explored digital footprints, cyber attacks and hackers and cyber security in the home. It also detailed possible career paths in cyber security including ethical hacking, cyber security engineering and alarm engineering.

Cyber Scotland Week was a great platform for raising awareness of just how much we rely on internet connectivity, and the risks that are associated with that. By engaging with children on this important subject, we can help to build the workforce of the future that will be required to support the Scottish Government's ambitious target of being a world leader in cyber resilience.

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