Women have been a minority in the cybersecurity space globally. The Cybersecurity industry worth $222.66 billion in 2023, has only 25 percent of its workforce as women. It is also important to note that African women make up 25 percent of the cybersecurity workforce on the continent and 9 percent of the cybersecurity workforce globally. These statistics go on to show that 91 percent of all cybersecurity-related jobs are done by men.
Here are some women shaping Cybersecurity in Africa
Confidence Staveley is Africa’s most celebrated Cybersecurity expert. She founded Cybersafe Foundation, a non-governmental organisation promoting digital access in Africa through skill acquisition and mentorship. She is a gender inclusion advocate and a member of the Forbes Technology Council. She is also the author of API Security for White Hat Hackers: Uncover offensive defense strategies and master secure API Implementation. Staveley has taken it upon herself to translate cybersecurity concepts into easily understandable pieces of information. She was awarded Cybersecurity Woman of the World in 2023. She has also been recognised as Cybersecurity Woman of the Year in 2021 and 2022, International Security Journal Influencer in 2023, LinkedIn’s Top Voice for Gender Inclusion, and a part of the Top 50 Women in Cybersecurity Africa, among many other awards.
Chinenye Chizea is an advocate for the implementation of best practice security risk controls, common security frameworks, and standards within organisations. With over 20 years of professional experience in Information Security, IT management, enterprise architecture, privacy, and compliance, Chizea is skilled in corporate governance, regulatory compliance, digital transformation, risk management, business continuity, information security, and assurance. Chinenye was the first female CISO for the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC). She has served on varying committees and is frequently interviewed, and invited to speak at varying platforms on cybersecurity, privacy, compliance, and related corporate governance responsibilities.
Her current role sees her consulting for the World Bank/Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) digital identity for development (ID4D) project on security and privacy.
Christine Masiika Thembo
Christine Masiika Thembo is a Cybersecurity Consultant at Traverse Security, providing strategic guidance and technical solutions to organisations. With ample experience in cybersecurity, cyber threat intelligence, and customer relationship management, she is a security researcher and a Cybersecurity advisor at Tech Privacy Legal Lab where she collaborates with scholars, lawyers, and IT practitioners.
Doreen Mokoena is an accomplished Cybersecurity Professional with over 7+ years of experience in Regulatory Compliance, Data Privacy, Internet Governance, Policy Advocacy, IT Governance, DNS Security, Cyber threat Intelligence, Digital Forensics, and Forensic Law.
She established CyberSec Clinique in 2020, with a focus on database security, threat modelling, managed security services, and VCISO services in mines throughout South Africa. Recently, Cybersec Clinique was recognized as the Entrepreneurship Education of the Year 2022 by the Africa Startup Ecosystem Builders.
Mokoena plays a crucial role in enforcing and adopting regulations in the South African tech industry. She is also a strong advocate for women’s participation in cybersecurity and STEM fields. Driven by her ambition for digital inclusivity and bridging the digital divide, she has mentored and judged International, Regional, and National hackathons, advocating for secure and resilient infrastructure. Her contributions have been recognized by several organizations, including Geekulcha’s top 15 young geeks of 2019, Inspiring fifty_50 SA, Mail and Guardian Women changing South Africa in STEM, Mail and Guardian 200 young South Africans, and Top 50 Women in Cybersecurity Africa.
Celia Mantshiyane is an experienced Chief Information Security Officer with a demonstrated history in multiple industries. Skilled in IT Infrastructure Management, Management, IT Operations Management, Risk Management, and Information Security. Currently the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at MTN South Africa, she has worked as the group chief information security officer (GCISO) of Coca-Cola Africa and as a Senior manager of IT infrastructure and operations at Sasria SOC Limited.
With over a decade of experience in the cyber security world, Mantshiyane has many accolades to her name. She has been featured in the Global Top 100 CISO, Top 50 Cybersecurity Women in Africa, 45 Most Influential Women in Digital Transformation, and most recently among the Top 10 Guardians Of CyberSpace.