Guide showing off her Girl Guides badgesSource: Girl Guides of Canada

Girl Guides of Canada and BlackBerry have now joined forces to launch a new Digital Defenders program aimed at encouraging interest in the cybersecurity industry among young girls while providing valuable skills and knowledge on how to navigate the digital world through age-appropriate content.

DigitaL Defenders badgeSource: Girls Guides of Canada

The 'Digital Defenders' activities aim to fuel girls' interests in how cybersecurity technologies work but also gives them opportunities to discover possible pathways to future careers and to connect with women mentors in the cybersecurity field. Along the way, as with all Girl Guide programs, girls will build skills in critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, observation, and teamwork. Girls who complete the programming will earn a 'Digital Defenders' crest that they can proudly display to show off their newfound cyber-smarts.

The partnership was announced as part of the BlackBerry World Tour event being held in Toronto, which included a panel with Sarah Tatsis, VP, Advanced Technology Development Labs, BlackBerry, and Jill Zelmanovits, CEO, GGC discussing the program and its importance. Speaking on the announcement, Jill Zelmanovits, CEO, GGC noted:

At Girl Guides, we're focused on empowering girls with the relevant skills that will help them soar. Girls have told us they want to know more about how they can protect themselves, their devices and their information online, so they're prepared to navigate the digital world they live in and to learn about potential careers in technology. BlackBerry is an incredibly innovative cybersecurity brand and we're thrilled to be working with them.

If you're looking to learn more about Girl Guides of Canada or the Digital Defenders program, you can check out the Girl Guides of Canada website.

Press Release

Girl Guides of Canada and BlackBerry Join Forces to Educate Next Generation of Cybersecurity Experts; Launches Digital Defenders Program

TORONTO, Ont. – Girl Guides of Canada-Guides du Canada (GGC) and BlackBerry Limited (NYSE: BB; TSX: BB) today announced the launch of cybersecurity skills-based programming, Digital Defenders, for GGC's 70,000 members.

Designed to provide girls with the necessary skill-set to spark early interest in the cybersecurity industry, the Girl Guide-led program encourages participants to take a "how stuff works" approach to cybersecurity, giving them a robust and in-depth look at the topics through play and discovery-based learning.

This innovative new programming will empower girls as digital citizens while giving them access to invaluable hands-on knowledge that might not be available to them otherwise. Following age-appropriate content for each branch of GGC from Sparks (ages 5-6) to Rangers (ages 17-18), girls will learn:

  • How computers, encryption and malware work
  • How data travels
  • How authentication works to protect information
  • How pen testing and hacking work
  • How cybersecurity creates layers of protection
  • How patches and firewalls protect computers
  • How machine learning is predicting and preventing cyber attacks

"At Girl Guides, we're focused on empowering girls with the relevant skills that will help them soar," said Jill Zelmanovits, CEO, GGC. "Girls have told us they want to know more about how they can protect themselves, their devices and their information online so they're prepared to navigate the digital world they live in and to learn about potential careers in technology. BlackBerry is an incredibly innovative cybersecurity brand and we're thrilled to be working with them."

The 'Digital Defenders' activities aim to fuel girls' interests in how cybersecurity technologies work, but also gives them opportunities to discover possible pathways to future careers and to connect with women mentors in the cybersecurity field. Along the way, as with all Girl Guide programs, girls will build skills in critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, observation and teamwork. Girls who complete the programming will earn a 'Digital Defenders' crest that they can proudly display to show off their newfound cyber-smarts.

"As the frequency and sophistication of cyberattacks continues to grow, the need to be cyber savvy when it comes to things like staying safe online and protecting personal information has never been more important," said Sarah Tatsis, VP, Advanced Technology Development Labs, BlackBerry. "As a former Girl Guide myself, I know first-hand how adept the organization is at fostering a passion and curiosity in girls that they continue to take with them throughout their lives. I'm confident that the program will spark interest in countless girls across the country, embedding a skill-set that will be extremely valuable in our increasingly connected world where top cybersecurity talent is both scarce and in high demand."

To learn more about the GGC and BlackBerry "Digital Defenders" program, please visit www.girlguides.ca/digitaldefenders.

About Girl Guides of Canada

Girl Guides of Canada–Guides du Canada (GGC) empowers every girl in Guiding to discover herself and be everything she wants to be. In Guiding, girls from 5-17 meet with girls their own age in a safe, inclusive space to explore what matters to them. With programming options ranging from innovative STEM activities to outdoor adventures and discussions on mental health and healthy relationships, girls in Guiding can customize their experience to dive into the topics relevant to them. GGC is where girls take the lead, put their ideas into action and jump into awesome activities – all with the support of engaged Guiders who are committed to positively impacting their lives. Guiding is all about supporting girls as they take on challenges and grab hold of every opportunity that comes their way. For more information visit GirlGuides.ca and follow @girlguidesofcanada.

About BlackBerry

BlackBerry (NYSE: BB; TSX: BB) is a trusted security software and services company that provides enterprises and governments with the technology they need to secure the Internet of Things. Based in Waterloo, Ontario, the company is unwavering in its commitment to safety, cybersecurity and data privacy, and leads in key areas such as artificial intelligence, endpoint security and management, encryption and embedded systems. For more information, visit BlackBerry.com and follow @BlackBerry.