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Header image for the current page Awards success for the Cyber Security team

Awards success for the Cyber Security team

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NHS Arden & GEM’s Cyber Security team has been named winners of ‘Diversity in Cyber’ and highly commended in ‘Women in Cyber’ at the Cyber Associates Network (CAN) Awards 2024.

The CAN Awards winners 2024 were announced in a virtual ceremony on Friday 22 March. Organised by NHS England, the Awards recognise innovation and expertise in cyber security in health and social care.

Arden & GEM’s Cyber Security team won the ‘Diversity in Cyber’ category for its proactive approach to recruitment and retention of a diverse cyber workforce which has resulted in 16% of the team being female and 66% being from black and minority ethnic backgrounds.

The team’s Head of Cyber Security, Tej Gudka, is passionate about diversity, inclusion and supporting team members to thrive. He's attended leadership training. He's a cyber mentor. He's undertaken coaching qualifications and he attends Arden & GEM’s main network meetings to champion diversity in leadership roles.

Cyber team members also provide wider mentoring as part of their commitment to improving inclusivity, not just within the team itself, but across the entire organisation.

To meet the challenge of recruiting into cyber roles against a backdrop of a shortage of talent, the team has supported colleagues to join from other departments by providing secondment opportunities combined with learning and development. Two cyber engineers and one cyber security manager are now in permanent positions thank to appropriate mentoring, on the job training and external learning.

The team has also created an environment where every team member can do their best work and has a sense of belonging by implementing a flexible approach to working which aligns with HR policies and takes into account individually tailored work patterns. This supports those team members with caring responsibilities or with long term health conditions to manage workloads around their own personal circumstances. The team has also supported and contributed to initiatives around mental health in order to support mental wellbeing across the entire organisation.

Commenting on the awards success, Tej Gudka, Head of Cyber Security at NHS Arden & GEM, said: “I’m very proud of our team for winning this award. It's really important to me and to Arden & GEM to build a culture of inclusivity, making sure that everyone gets a fair chance and representation for roles and opportunity. I feel privileged to lead such a diverse and inclusive group and that inclusivity hugely improves our chances of keeping us and our customers safe.

“A special mention to Tamara Birchall, an integral member of the Arden & GEM Cyber Security team, who was also awarded ‘Highly Commended’ status in the Women in Cyber category. Cyber security was celebrated throughout the awards and reiterated that it is a team game.”

Highly commended entrant, Tamara, was recognised by her colleagues for:

You can find out more about the Cyber Associates Network here.