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City Tech Launches New Cybersecurity Training Pilot for Women in Chicago Alongside Key Partners

Date Published: 1, February 2019

Schaumburg, IL, USA —The City Tech Collaborative (City Tech),, and ISACA are pleased to announce a new training pilot for women entering the cybersecurity field. At present, women make up less than a quarter of the cybersecurity workforce in the U.S. With the cybersecurity field projected to grow, this program aims to close the opportunity gap and provide pathways for retention and advancement specifically within the City of Chicago.

“Now more than ever, there is an urgent need to secure sensitive data and information technology,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “This program will sharpen the skillsets of more women to compete in one of the fastest-growing industries, strengthening our city’s unparalleled workforce and reinforcing Chicago’s standing as global leader for cybersecurity.”

“While technology holds great promise for cities, it can also widen existing inequities.” said Brenna Berman, Executive Director of the City Tech Collaborative and former CIO for the City of Chicago. “This pilot program demonstrates how government, industry, philanthropy, and nonprofit institutions can work together to close those gaps.”

The pilot will test the impact of a free cybersecurity training on the workforce outcomes for women entering technology, particularly underrepresented women. With weekend classes, industry partnerships, and mentorship opportunities, the program is designed to be accessible, holistic, and supportive. It will leverage ISACA’s CSX Training Platform and last 8 weeks. Students will also be exposed to job skills and role models to help accelerate their careers.

Through City Tech’s collaborative process, and ISACA were connected to a team of stakeholders pledging in-kind resources and expertise to the pilot. Bosch, City Colleges of Chicago, the City of Chicago, Clarity Partners, Comcast, Columbia College of Chicago, the Grand Victoria Foundation and Microsoft are all contributing resources to the pilot including mentorship opportunities, classroom space, and equipment.

“The organizations best equipped to innovate in the digital economy are those with diverse teams capable of envisioning creative, technology-driven solutions, and solving problems from a variety of perspectives,” said Tara Wisniewski, SVP of Global Affairs for ISACA. “There is much progress to be made to help organizations head in that direction, and we appreciate the generous and forward-looking organizations that are partnering with us to increase the representation of women in technology leadership roles and the tech workforce.”

“This pilot is exactly the right thing to do!” said Brenda Darden Wilkerson, President & CEO of “It shows, by action and not by talk, how a city can help level the playing field for their women in tech – and provides proof positive for both their residents and their local corporations that they support their long-term technology infrastructure."

The Cybersecurity training pilot was spurred by a $60,000 grant from City Tech’s Connect Chicago Innovation Program, which is a fund supporting bringing collaborative new ideas to life that ultimately increase tech access, skills, and engagement in Chicago. The Connect Chicago Innovation Program is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Sprint, Microsoft, Comcast, the Lenovo Foundation, Gogo, and Clarity Partners.

“Sprint is honored to stand with City Tech to launch their new training pilot with and ISACA,” said Jim Mills, Sprint President of the Midwest. “This pilot brings a unique opportunity to women interested in tech, and will open up doors for underserved communities. We couldn’t be more excited to be a resource for these organizations, and will work closely to help them thrive.”

While all interested women with a high school degree or equivalent are encouraged to apply, the program is designed to have the most impact for women early in their careers or women switching careers. The program also aims to support women from underrepresented communities in Chicago, especially those from the south and west sides.

Please visit to learn more and apply. Please direct any questions about the pilot to

About City Tech Collaborative (City Tech): City Tech reinvents cities. With partners and people, we remake essential services and infrastructure, from skills to skyscrapers. We then prepare these solutions for other cities, thus increasing the world’s odds of solving big, urban problems. We are currently easing subway congestion during large events; creating a digital map of Chicago’s underground; and launching a digital directory of public health services in Chicago.

About At, we envision a future where the people who imagine and build technology mirror the people and societies for whom they build it. We connect, inspire, and guide women in computing, and organizations that view technology innovation as a strategic imperative. Our social enterprise supports women in technical fields, as well as the organizations that employ them and the academic institutions training the next generation. A full roster of programs help women grow, learn, and develop their highest potential.


Now in its 50th anniversary year, ISACA ( is a global association helping individuals and enterprises achieve the positive potential of technology. Today’s world is powered by information and technology, and ISACA equips professionals with the knowledge, credentials, education and community to advance their careers and transform their organizations. ISACA leverages the expertise of its 460,000 engaged professionals—including its 140,000 members—in information and cybersecurity, governance, assurance, risk and innovation, as well as its enterprise performance subsidiary, CMMI Institute, to help advance innovation through technology. ISACA has a presence in more than 188 countries, including more than 220 chapters worldwide and offices in both the United States and China.



Kristen Kessinger, +1.847.660.5512,
Katie Olson, City Tech Collaborative,

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