A women-only workshop at the C3 in Luxembourg: They can do it!
Friday, November 24 was Black Friday, but it was also the third edition of Blackhoodies Day at the Cyber-security Competence Center (C3) of Luxembourg.
The event brought together some fifty “Girls in Tech”; each one passionate about different aspects of computer science, electronics and cyber-security.
During intense work group sessions, each girl was able to explore a number of issues related to the use of digital products that have invaded our daily lives. This Blackhoodies Workshop was (unintentionally perhaps) an antidote to Black Friday, which tries to make us compulsive consumers of products that end up owning us more than we own them. During these workshops, they spoke about mobile phones and other connected objects, all of which have - more or less - large security holes, and how the adoption of these products increases our level of risk.
But why a Hi-Tech event for girls?
Barbie, co-organizer of the Blackhoodies, replies: “As women, we often have trouble being taken seriously. Moreover, in this sector where women are very much in the minority, it is sometimes difficult for us to find our place. So, this kind of event is really useful because it allows us to gather together and to take confidence in our capacities. Today, the level of interventions was really high. It proves that ‘We Can Do It’!
Christina attended the Blackhoodie Workshop for the first time. She holds a Master’s Degree in Electronics and is interested in cybersecurity, which includes topics such as embedded security and the Internet of Things. She was curious about participating in a 100% female only event. “I was a little skeptical before coming… but in the end, I think it’s a very good idea,” she told us.
According to Marion (from France), the state of mind is quite different: “In mixed sex conferences, we sometimes attend very showy, overly technical presentations and we can be afraid to ask questions that might make us sound stupid…” Here the mindset is friendlier and we are here to learn, we try to work together, to better understand certain issues… During our studies, most of us are used to being in classrooms where we were the only girl, so an event like this is also an example, to make it clear to little girls that they do not have to follow the path that society has set for them.” If this message gets through, they will not be the only ones in certain classrooms in the future.