By Maya Pottiger
After a successful inaugural trip, Chesapeake High School’s signature program is hosting its second Cybersecurity Day for Girls.
The trip, scheduled for December 19, will take a group of CHS students to the Deloitte office in Annapolis for a panel, lunch and some hands-on activities. Of the activities, the panel was the most popular, said Melissa Bajadek, the Signature department chair.
"The girls were able to ask questions about, ‘What is life like in this world that is very dominated by men? What’s a realistic salary? If this is what I really like doing, is there a spot for me?’” Bajadek said. “I would say that was their favorite thing was having that exposure to those women and having those honest conversations and to be able to ask those questions.”
Panel members consisted of women who worked for the government, as well as some who worked in the private sector. The panel members were also in various stages of their careers, ranging from recent college graduates to being close to retirement.
"Each of the women gave their spiel, which was awesome,” Bajadek said. “It really enabled the girls to have an honest conversation about some of the challenges that women face in cyber, in particular, and in STEM, more in general.”
The event came together with the help of Jennifer Havermann, chairman of the Integrated Collaborative Stakeholders Team Signature Program. Havermann currently works at Deloitte and is a graduate of Glen Burnie High School. She has been part of the Signature program since 2012 and has been a “huge supporter,” Bajadek said.
Last year, one of the topics covered was how the ability to speak a foreign language plays a role in the cyber field. During the hands-on part of the event, the CHS students worked with virtual reality technology.
Cybersecurity Day for Girls runs from 10:00am until 1:00pm on December 19.