Inspiring Girls in Cyber Security

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Lockheed Martin Fellow Perri Nejib is one of seven Lockheed Martin volunteers who promoted cyber security to 350 middle school girls at the Annual Cool Careers in Cyber Security for Girls Summit.


Women account for nearly half of all jobs in the U.S. economy yet their career fields’ account for less than 25 percent of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs. This raises concerns for the nation’s ability to innovate, compete in a global economy and fill the escalating demand for cyber security professionals in the United States.

The National Science Foundation’s CyberWatch Program's CyberWatch K-12 Division and the Maryland Cybersecurity Center (MC2) partnered to host an event called the “Annual Cool Careers in Cyber Security for Girls Summit," where middle school girls had the opportunity to learn from women in companies and government agencies.  

Recently, 350 girls collaborated at the Summit as Cyber Security Identity Theft Investigators (CSI) by solving identity theft and cyber crime cases while learning about computer assembly, digital forensics tools on cell phones, wireless data streams, hard drives and images. In addition, it included lessons in systems engineering, cryptology, steganography and Lockheed Martin’s “In Your Face(book)” tutorial on privacy and personal data protection.

Engaging future generations

“Lockheed Martin has a long-standing relationship with the University of Maryland and its Cybersecurity Center and is very focused on developing future technologists," said Dalila Wortman, Lockheed Martin IS&GS director of engineering. "This is why we work tirelessly on STEM initiatives throughout our organization. Women can be very successful in technology career fields as exemplified by our executive leadership at Lockheed Martin where three of our four top positions are held by female leaders. Events like this one will help to encourage, motivate and inspire girls to go into the STEM field.”

Students were asked to think how to re-engineer products like a Barbie doll, for example, to make her more engaging and exciting. Students conceived a life-size doll that could move like a robot, take pictures and engage in conversation. When asked what the Barbie robot's name would be, Leah Branch, a Clarksville middle school student said, “how about life-size Barbie Bot?”

See ABC 7's report on the Annual Summit below.

Posted November 11, 2012

Story Highlights:

  • Women account for nearly half of all jobs in the U.S. economy yet their career fields’ account for less than 25 percent of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs.
  • Lockheed Martin volunteers participated in the “Annual Cool Careers in Cyber Security for Girls Summit," where middle school girls had the opportunity to learn from women in companies and government agencies.