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Women in Cyber – Leading change in the public sector

Scotland November 2023 - March 2024

Supporting Organisations


This is a Scottish Government funded programme, delivered in a virtual setting by leadership development specialists Empowering You and focused specifically on aspiring female leaders working in InfoSec roles across all public sector organisations in Scotland.

This unique virtual programme has been specifically designed to support and empower those who are unable to access traditional in-person leadership development opportunities due to barriers ranging from living in rural/remote locations, care commitments, mobility issues or other health considerations.

The programme is fully funded by the Scottish Government and is aimed at women whose roles include (or will include): information security/governance/assurance, data protection or cyber resilience. Our programmes celebrate diversity in each programme and we welcome applicants of any career stage or InfoSec discipline, including specialists, team leaders, project managers and senior leaders with an 'always learning' mindset.

Delivered over four months from November 2023 - February 2024, Women in Cyber - Leading Change in Public Sector is non-technical in nature, bringing together a national community of 20 like-minded professionals who will embark on a leadership journey together, learning by experience and from each other.

Key Learning Points

  • During the programme, participants will work individually and collaboratively to:

    • Accelerate leadership potential and embrace a ‘leader as learner’ mindset​

    • Explore strategies to understand and engage more effectively with team members and stakeholders

    • Understand and develop your own personal and authentic leadership skills

    • Identify and respond to challenges within the team and organisation​

    • Leverage the combined expertise of peers to progress individual and collective growth​

    • Collaborate to deliver a team project for the women in cyber community ​

Programme Modules

Segmented into four key modules which are addressed across six virtual group workshop sessions, individual coaching and a team community challenge, Women in Cyber - Leading Change in the Public Sector engages participants in a detailed exploration around the fundamentals of authentic leadership from self-awareness, collaboration and influence, through to optimising your personal impact.

The power of connection, trust and relationships
Self-awareness – drivers, strengths and what holds you back
Emotional intelligence and working with others
Authentic leadership and optimising your impact
Plus: teamwork and community action (through a challenge project)

Participant Experience

Women in Cyber - Leading Change in the Public Sector immerses participants in a multi-layered development journey designed to ensure maximum individual impact.

This programme is delivered in a virtual setting but with an experiential format, including group activities and action learning sets. Two professional leadership facilitators are used throughout our workshops to make sure we maintain high levels of personal engagement and diverse perspectives.

  • Learning readiness - optional group call with Programme Leader

  • Self-assessment​

  • 6 x half-day virtual group workshops

  • 3 x 1 hour 1-1 coaching sessions working on individual developmental priorities

  • Guest industry speakers sharing personal leadership stories

  • Coaching workbook and questionnaire

  • Team collaboration challenge for the Scotland cyber community
  • A presentation to a wider community (virtual or face-to-face)

  • On completion all participants will receive a certificate

Programme Map

From self-paced, individual learning to interactive group development, the course immerses participants in a vibrant, multifaceted learning experience. Interacting with peers across a range of mediums, participants gain diverse insights and build powerful new connections.

Activity Format Date
Self-assessment Self-directed 1 week before first workshop 
1st Group Workshop Virtual, group based, interactive 1st November
2nd Group Workshop Virtual, group based, interactive 9th November
3rd Group Workshop Virtual, group based, interactive 30th November
Coaching Sessions Virtual, interactive, 1-1 Throughout November - January
4th Group Workshop Virtual, group based, interactive 12th December
5th Group Workshop Virtual, group based, interactive 23rd January
6th Group Workshop Virtual, group based, interactive 6th February
Challenges team calls Self-directed, team groups Determined by team
Graduation and team challenge presentations In-person, Edinburgh, 10am-2pm 7th March 2024

Pricing & Enrolment

This is a free but selective programme. Participants will be selected by a panel based on applications received and to achieve a diverse representation of participants.

Please note that this programme is intended ONLY for individuals who would NOT be able to participate in programmes which were in-person due to reasons including (but not exclusive to) location/geography, care commitments, mobility issues or health considerations.

Each applicant will be required to complete an application form for consideration.

Places are limited to a maximum of 20

Workshop times/dates are as follows; you are expected to attend all workshops and graduation to complete the programme successfully.

Closing Date For Applications: 10 Oct 2023
Venue: Virtual
Pricing: Free (not including travel expenses)
Max Participants: 20

Workshop Date Information:

1st Virtual Workshop

1st November 9.30am - 1pm

2nd Virtual Workshop

9th November, 9.30am - 1pm

3rd Virtual Workshop

30th November, 9.30am - 1pm

4th Virtual Workshop

12th December, 9.30am - 1pm

5th Virtual Workshop

23rd January, 9.30am - 1pm

6th Virtual Workshop

6th February, 9.30am - 1pm

It is an expectation that all participants will attend each workshop and complete each module in order to successfully graduate from the programme. Exceptional circumstances will be considered of course.

Due to the interactive and experiential nature of the workshops, participants will be expected to have their cameras activated throughout.

​Team Challenge Presentation and Graduation: Thursday 7th March 2024, 10am-2pm in Edinburgh

What Our Alumni Say

“The entire program has been a very positive, immersive experience that has left me feeling empowered and ready to take on future challenges.”

Ieva Kaleinikovaite | Adarma

“I absolutely loved the program! For me personally, it was so much more than I was expecting and the outcomes will shape who I am moving forward to lead in Cyber Security.”

Irene Coyle | Chief Operating Officer, OSP Cyber Academy

“Essentially, this program forced me to take time and space and reflect on who I am and what I want in my career and life – both as a leader and as a person.”

Narelle Gibbons | Product Manager, STV Group

“To be part of a network of inspiring, empowered women that I can tap into, and give back to, for support, ideas, mentoring and to simply share successes with, is truly a blessing.”

Michelle Baillie | Team Leader, Forensic Computer Analyst, Police Scotland

“I liked the “experiential” part of the program – it was very interactive and there was a lot of discussion and reflection.”

Nadia Vidinova | Content Designer/User Centred Design, Social Security Scotland

“The coaching took me on a deeper level to review both my professional and personal objectives and I truly valued this opportunity and experience.”

Nuala Kilmartin | Innovation Lead, UKRI

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