UK Gulf Women in Cybersecurity Fellowship

Closing the cyber gender gap

The UK Gulf Women in Cybersecurity Fellowship (UKGulfWIC) programme comprises the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), innovation company Plexal and digital risk management consultancy Protection Group International (PGI) who are supporting and empowering female cyber security professionals through the fellowship programme.


The programme support female cyber experts across the Gulf

Recognising that women are generally underrepresented in cyber security globally but that there are key female leaders in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) who have overcome substantial cultural barriers in their field, the fellowship was set up in order to support positive female role models, promote peer-to-peer learning and cross-country collaboration and strengthen UK Gulf cooperation and partnerships.

The previous cohorts of fellows have completed a quantitative and qualitative survey in order to better understand the skills shortages in the GCC, created the first ever Arabic speaking awareness portal, developed an innovative app to test skills and also enhanced the work of the Women in Cyber Security Middle East (WICSME) Network.

Reunion Week 23rd-25th January 2023

A UK visit between Monday 23rd and Wednesday 25th January 2023 has been planned to act as a Reunion Week, providing the previous cohort of fellows and their UK counterparts an opportunity to learn and share best practice across government, industry and academia.

The female cybersecurity leaders from the Gulf are travelling to the UK as part of the fellowship programme for insight into leading government, startup and industry cyber practices. The delegation will visit the National Cyber Security Centre, Plexal Stratford and BP’s Security Operations Centre over the course of three days.

Saj Huq, CCO at Plexal, said:

Plexal has long sought to grow a more diverse and inclusive cyber ecosystem, enabled by innovation. For example, our Cyber Runway programme with DCMS is inclusive-by-design, with 45% of members from Cyber Runway cohort one being female-led startups. We are proud to be supporting this FCDO and NCSC mission to further develop a highly talented cohort of Gulf female cyber leaders through immersion and access to the UK’s innovation ecosystem.” 

Follow #UKGulfWIC

We will be sharing more news about the Alumni after the Reunion Week as well as introducing the new cohort of female leaders from the Gulf for 2023. Stay tuned using the hashtag #UKGulfWIC across LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.


Maria Barr from our innovation team is here if you have any questions about UKGulfWIC