Cyber club on campus promotes women in technology


Photo courtesy of Chelsie Cooper

Members of the Women in Cyber club hope to empower women interested in learning about technology-based fields.

A new club on Marshall University’s campus hopes to close the gender gap in the technology world, an advisor for the club said.

“Tech fields are dominated by males,” said Chelsie Cooper, advisor for the Women In Cyber club. “Our female students in tech sit in classrooms surrounded by males and male professors. The purpose behind this club is to give our female students in tech a support system of fellow females that share and understand the challenges of being in a field that is dominated by males.”

Women In Cyber formed following a suggestion from John Sammons, director of Marshall’s Digital Forensics andInformation Assuranceprogram, DFIA, in hopes of uniting women in the DFIA major, said Morganne Hutchinson, president of Women In Cyber and a junior DFIA major.

“He stated that there would be a new DFIA-based club, revolving around the females of the program, so the females of the program went with it,” Hutchinson said. “We started the group to bring the females of the department together, and to be more connected with each other, since there are roughly about 30 females in the entire program.”

With empowering women as the goal, the group hopes more become interested in the technology field, Hutchinson said.

“My hope for this group is to recruit more females to the club, spark interest in others to be curious about the technology world, especially the younger generation of females in the community, such as elementary-, middle- and high school-aged individuals, and be able to go to conferences, meetings, events to represent the females of the field,” Hutchinson said.

Cooper said she hopes this group can give women a platform to advocate for their role in the technology field.

“Women In Cyber is giving our female students in technology a voice on campus to not only promote our technology programs but to empower females to join them and address the gender gap issue as a whole,” Cooper said.  “My hope for this group is to spread empowerment and leadership, to give them a support system and for them to empower each other to push through the challenges of being a female in technology.”

Women In Cyber is focusing on getting more women to join and also connecting with the community, Hutchinson said.

As of right now, the group’s meetings run between 45 minutes to an hour, Hutchinson said. She said members throw ideas around about advertising the group to campus, possible non-monetary donations, fundraisers for the community and how they can recruit more females in the cyber and technology world.

“Nothing is more powerful than a group of females advocating for something they are passionate about,” Cooper said.

Women In Cyber meets Thursdays at 3:30 p.m. in Drinko Library 439.

Meredith O’Bara can be contacted at [email protected]