Female scholars make up close to 40% of 2021 cohort
SINGAPORE – 31 AUG 2021
With the goal of nurturing our future leaders in technology, the Smart Nation Scholarship was presented to 14 recipients this year. Among them were five female recipients, the largest batch of female Smart Nation Scholarship recipients to date, reflecting an increased interest amongst them to contribute to Singapore’s digital and technology development. Since its launch in 2018, the Smart Nation Scholarship has been awarded to 12 female recipients in total.
The percentage of female Smart Nation scholars has seen steady growth over the years, rising from 22% in 2018 to 36% today. Addressing the 14 scholarship awardees at a virtual awards ceremony held today, Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-charge of Smart Nation and Cybersecurity Josephine Teo said, “Grooming a team of Smart Nation Scholars is not unlike assembling a team of Marvel superheroes, each with their own unique superpower. By recognising and bringing together more diverse talents, we certainly hope to navigate the complexities ahead with greater confidence.”
The Smart Nation Scholarship seeks to develop and nurture technology talents who are passionate to make a difference to our national digital transformation. Jointly offered by the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA), Government Technology Agency (GovTech), and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), the Smart Nation Scholarship recipients will be groomed for leadership positions in technology and take on key roles in national projects.
The scholarship is awarded to students who are passionate about technology, dedicated to the public service and distinguished themselves beyond academic merits and leadership qualities. The recipients are selected through a rigorous assessment process comprising aptitude tests, management interviews and agency-specific assessments such as technical and gamified personality tests.
“I believe it is important to allow girls to be exposed to technology in school and opportunities to further develop this interest. Some girls may find an unexpected passion in this field, and schools can make it more accessible to everyone. More women working in technology can increase diversity in opinions on the development and usage of technology. Through the Smart Nation Scholarship, I hope to step into novel, fast-developing technology fields and create solutions to help solve problems that Singapore faces. I was impressed by the agility GovTech demonstrated in responding to the pandemic, and I hope to contribute towards delivering tech for public good when I join the agency,” said Chen Xinyi, who is among the four scholars joining GovTech this year.
“My personal goal is to use tech to create system architectures that benefit the wider community and I believe that aligns with what Smart Nation aims to do, to transform Singapore with technology. I was not hesitant to enter tech as I believe that women are as equally capable as men, and will be able to contribute our part. There are currently also more role models and examples of women who have built a successful career in tech. I firmly believe in the work IMDA is doing, spearheading, and regulating the use of tech in Singapore. I saw first-hand the impact that IMDA can bring to our country and I am keen on joining IMDA to contribute to the fast-paced digitalisation of Singapore and showcase the capabilities of women in the tech sector,” said Tan Xin Yen, one of the four IMDA Smart Nation scholars.
"I believe technology has tremendous potential to improve lives. As one of CSA’s Smart Nation scholars, I want to ensure that systems and software are more secure so people can embrace technology without fearing the harm that cybercriminals can do. It is also an honour to join the growing number of women in this industry as we can provide varying perspectives to problem-solving that may otherwise be overlooked,” said Natasha Tan, one of the six recipients who will be joining CSA.
Please refer to the full list of 14 scholars from the three agencies in Annex A.
About Cyber Security Agency
The Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) provides dedicated and centralised oversight of national cyber security functions and works with sector leads to protect Singapore’s critical services. It also engages with various industries, and stakeholders to heighten cyber security awareness as well as to ensure the holistic development of Singapore’s cyber security landscape. The Agency is part of the Prime Minister’s Office and is managed by the Ministry of Communications and Information. For more information, please visit www.csa.gov.sg.
About Government Technology Agency
The Government Technology Agency (GovTech) is the lead agency driving Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative and public sector digital transformation. As the Centre of Excellence for Infocomm Technology and Smart Systems (ICT & SS), GovTech develops the Singapore Government’s capabilities in Data Science & Artificial Intelligence, Application Development, Sensors & IoT, Digital Infrastructure, and Cybersecurity.
GovTech supports public agencies to manage enterprise IT operations and develop new digital products for citizens and businesses. GovTech is the public sector lead for cybersecurity, and oversees key government ICT infrastructure, as well as regulates ICT procurement, data protection and security in the public sector. GovTech is a Statutory Board under the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG) in the Prime Minister’s Office. For more information, please visit www.tech.gov.sg.
About Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA)
The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) leads Singapore’s digital transformation with infocomm media. To do this, IMDA will develop a dynamic digital economy and a cohesive digital society, driven by an exceptional infocomm media (ICM) ecosystem – by developing talent, strengthening business capabilities, and enhancing Singapore's ICM infrastructure. IMDA also regulates the telecommunications and media sectors to safeguard consumer interests while fostering a pro-business environment, and enhances Singapore’s data protection regime through the Personal Data Protection Commission.
For more news and information, visit www.imda.gov.sg or follow IMDA on LinkedIn (@IMDA), Facebook (@IMDAsg) and Instagram (@IMDAsg).
(Ms) Serene Goh
(Communications and Marketing)