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The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has chosen two Emirati women as ambassadors for the Women in Cyber Mentorship Programme, an initiative targeting to overcome the barriers that prevent women's broader integration in the field of cybersecurity.

The programme is aimed to enhance the presence and participation of women in this important sector by introducing role models, encouraging communication and exchange of knowledge, and guiding specialists in the field of cybersecurity in the future.

The two women selected by ITU are Maitha Al Shaali, information security analyst, and Aisha Almarzooqi, cybersecurity capacity development analyst, who both work for the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA). The two employees have finished their participation in the programme and succeeded to demonstrate their unique leadership skills and worked as a team with other colleagues and trainees.

They serve as examples of distinguished young women. On her participation in the programme, Maitha said, “It was a unique experience rich in knowledge and expertise related to cybersecurity in the telecommunications sector. This programme provided us with the opportunity to interact with specialists and colleagues from different countries of the world. It contributed to enriching our knowledge by benefiting from the experiences of other specialists. The programme revealed to us the critical role that women can play in cybersecurity, especially as we live in the era of the fourth industrial revolution, artificial intelligence, and digital services.”

In turn, Aisha said, "I am proud to be chosen as an ambassador for this important programme, which opens the door for women around the world to enter the cybersecurity sector and work in one of the most important sectors of our time. The trend of the world towards digital transformation and the adoption of smart services in various fields has created a pressing need for training of cadres specialized in cybersecurity, including females."

TDRA stated that the Women in Cyber Mentorship Programme encourages women to take leadership roles in the field of cybersecurity and provides specialized training courses. The programme particularly promotes knowledge and exchange best practices in cybersecurity career development.

Thus, women are provided with the technical and personal skills needed for successful professional development by women in senior positions. It is noteworthy that other female leaders from the UAE have participated in the programme to support female trainees in the region.

These include Dr. Bushra Al Balushi, director of research and innovation department of Dubai Electronic Security Centre who was chosen as a mentor and Dr. Huda Al-Khuzaimi, assistant professor of research and director of the cyber security centre at New York University Abu Dhabi who held specialized training courses for participants to develop their skills in cybersecurity.

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