NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Young girls from the Bronx are being encouraged to take on the hackers of the world.
As CBS2’s Cindy Hsu reports, the world of cybersecurity needs more girl power.
Students from Michelangelo Junior High School in the Bronx learned about cyber security Thursday at IBM’s Cyber Girls Day, like how to protect websites and devices from hackers.
“Typically about every 90 days is when you want to change your password” IBM Master Inventor Michael Spisak explained.
“Now I know not to post a lot of stuff on my social media, because I know that when I get older and I want to get a job people might see the stuff that I posted,” student Athalia McCormack said.
The goal is to get more girls interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM. Most of the IBM volunteers teaching the girls were women.
“It was different, because most of the time these are jobs that most men might do, and now women are doing it, so it’s different,” said McCormack.
“There are so many unfilled jobs in cybersecurity and there will be even more in the future. This is a huge opportunity for the girls, but they have to start at middle school to make sure they stay in their science and math backgrounds,” Catherine Webb, with IBM said.
Webb said in the STEM fields, it’s about 25 to 30 percent women, but it drops to 11 percent women when it comes to cyber security.
When the students first came in, they were asked, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ They gave all sorts of answers – teacher, singer, hairstylist. But minds were changed in just a couple hours, Hsu reported.