Cyber's Gender Gap: How We Helped BT Bring More Women into the Industry

September 29, 2022
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At CAPSLOCK, we specialise in reskilling adults into cyber security professionals, helping them to retrain and switch careers into the industry via intensive online bootcamps.

One of our main values is our commitment to reducing the diversity gap in cyber by helping people of all genders, ethnicities, ages, professional backgrounds, and walks of life to get into the industry.

Speaking about our diversity ethos, CAPSLOCK co-founder Dr. Andrea Cullen said, “the more our cyber workforce reflects the diversity of our society, the better our cyber solutions will be.” The whole team are keen to encourage more women to pursue careers in cyber, in the hopes of chipping away at the IT sector’s “boy’s club” image.

Since launching in February 2021, we have helped over 300 people reskill in cyber, and our success in the retraining space has caught the attention of some big names.

In March 2022, we launched a pilot reskilling programme in collaboration with BT, to reskill 30 existing employees and reskill them as ‘Protectors’ in BT’s security team. From the beginning, the CAPSLOCK team emphasised the importance of ensuring the group of 30 employees was a diverse representation of BT’s workforce.

In terms of the women who join our public cyber security bootcamps, we see an average female attendance of around 30%: more than double the average representation on a university degree in a similar subject. we are striving for even great gender equality on our bootcamps, and the exclusive BT cohort was ultimately made up of 43% female learners.  

Here’s what some of them had to say about their cyber security reskilling journeys with us:

Ashleigh was previously an Audio Events Team Leader at BT, and now she’s a Threat Intelligence and Investigations Analyst at BT. Speaking about her motivation to apply for the course, she said: “It’s important for me to be something female-founded, because there’s a perception that tech is a boy’s club, but there’s a lot of amazing women out there who are reskilling into cyber security and I want to be part of that.

Gemma, who was a BT Video Technician and now works as a BT Security Transformation Analyst, said: “After being loyal to BT for 26 years they have paid me back at the most crucial time of my life. They have invested in me to reskill in cyber security over a 17-week course with CAPSLOCK. I would be lying to say that this has been easy! However, the support I have received from CAPSLOCK, BT and the other trainees has been amazing.

I'm coming away with a massive sense of achievement and I'm walking into a new career with the company I've worked for throughout my adult life; what more could I ask for? This opportunity has been life changing. You are never too old to learn something new, you just need to be believed in.

Aaliyah, who was formerly an EE Sales Advisor and is now an Operational Architect Professional, said: “The course is definitely challenging but I wouldn't say it’s a challenge, it’s an experience and it’s an opportunity, and I’ve made lifetime friends. The area of cyber security I’m going into is Operational Architecture, and honestly, I can’t wait. I’m super excited to get started.

Inspired by the success of the pilot cohort with BT, we are launching a new B2B product for companies looking to repurpose their workforce. ‘Reskill’ offers businesses the chance to retrain any number of employees, from one or two all the way up to a whole cohort. As a concept, repurposing current staff members helps to retain valuable and loyal talent within an organisation, avoid redundancies, and efficiently bolster a company’s security infrastructure.

And as if the benefits of corporate reskilling weren’t attractive enough, we have recently received funding from the government’s Skills for Life programme, allowing us to offer partially funded bootcamp places to SMEs and large corporations alike. Places are 90% funded for SMEs and 70% funded for large organisations.

We're really looking forward to our next B2B collaboration. With our new Reskill product and the recent government backing, we are looking to help more companies unlock the potential of their staff and bring even greater levels of diversity into the cyber industry.  

For more information about our public reskilling bootcamps, visit:

For more information about our partially government-funded reskilling slots for businesses, visit:

For more information about other ways to work with CAPSLOCK, visit:

All imagery in the blog post comes from the BT x CAPSLOCK 'Reskilling our people as Protectors' video.

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