New training programs at Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst will focus on creating opportunity for underrepresented groups in the cybersecurity sector including women and persons of colour

March 3, 2022 | Brampton, ON

Mastercard provides funding to Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst to foster inclusion and diversity in the Canadian cybersecurity sector 

Today, Mastercard and Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst at Ryerson University ("Catalyst") announced two unique training programs designed to foster inclusion and diversity in the Canadian cybersecurity sector.

Canada is facing a critical shortage of skilled workers in the cybersecurity sector, and women and persons of colour continue to be seriously under-represented in this industry. With Mastercard's investment of $1.25 million, the new Catalyst training programs will help to address these gaps through:

  • The Mastercard Emerging Leaders in Cyber Initiative, a unique leadership program designed to support the development of female-identifying executive leaders in cybersecurity; and
  • The Mastercard Cyber Range Capstone Program, an experiential learning program designed to provide learners from demographic groups that are underrepresented in the cybersecurity sector, and who have been or are currently enrolled in the Catalyst's Accelerated Cybersecurity Training Program, with additional, hands-on cybersecurity training. This will include learners who identify as female, new Canadians and those who are unemployed or underemployed.

Through its contribution to the Catalyst, Mastercard is building on its commitment to supporting Canadian innovation and technology talent, while driving diversity in the cybersecurity sector. This partnership with Catalyst is the latest in a series of cybersecurity-related investments Mastercard has made in Canada, which includes a $510M investment in its new global Intelligence and Cyber Centre of Excellence in Vancouver. The Centre is focused on accelerating innovation in digital and cyber security, data, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things, providing job opportunities for new talent that Mastercard is currently recruiting for.

The Catalyst is a national leader in offering diversity-focused cybersecurity training programs, delivering high-impact programming for women, new Canadians, displaced workers and BIPOC professionals. More than sixty percent of Catalyst graduates are women and more than seventy-five percent identify as being from a minority group.

More details about these new programs can be found at:


"There continues to be an unnecessary talent gap in the cybersecurity sector, specifically with women and persons of colour," says Sasha Krstic, president of Mastercard in Canada. "Mastercard is building on its commitment to support Canadian talent through education, training and research with community partners, like the Catalyst, to ensure a diverse and inclusive future workforce."

"On behalf of the Government of Canada and our Brampton community, I want to congratulate Mastercard and Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst on this important partnership," says Sonia Sidhu, MP, Brampton South. "The initiative announced today will help create a more inclusive cyber workforce—one that looks like Canada. Only with a diverse and inclusive cybersecurity labour force can we hope to meet our security challenges, which grow more urgent every day. I want to thank Mastercard and Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst for their leadership, and I am especially proud as the Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst is headquartered in Brampton—one of Canada's most innovative cities."

"We are most grateful to Mastercard for this vital contribution," says Charles Finlay, Founding Executive Director of the Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst. "With Mastercard's leadership, we will design and deliver two new programs of the highest quality and continue to open the Canadian cybersecurity sector to participation by all. This is an important and exciting moment for cybersecurity training in Canada."

"This investment by Mastercard will open many new doors for our diverse cybersecurity learners," says Dr. Steven Liss, Vice President of Research and Innovation at Ryerson University and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst. "We are incredibly excited to develop new cybersecurity training programs that will be among the best in Canada."

Media Contacts

Jessica Leach, Ryerson University
416-704-2166 |
Emilija Businskas, Vice President, Communications Mastercard

About Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst

Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst is Ryerson University's national centre for innovation and collaboration in cybersecurity. Headquartered in Brampton, Ontario, the Catalyst empowers Canadians and Canadian businesses to seize the opportunities and tackle the challenges of cybersecurity. Through its ground-breaking training and certification programs; unique commercial accelerator for Canadian cybersecurity scale-ups; first-of-its-kind cyber range; wide-ranging public education programs; and influential policy development platform, the Catalyst helps drive Canada's global competitiveness in cybersecurity.

About Mastercard (NYSE: MA)

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.