Lieutenant Abbygale Wiggins won an individual award for women in the tech industry (Picture: Royal Signals/Twitter).

'There are plenty of women in technology thriving': Army troop commander wins tech award

Lieutenant Abbygayle Wiggins was chosen as an individual winner in the awards which look to celebrate women in the technology sector.

Lieutenant Abbygale Wiggins won an individual award for women in the tech industry (Picture: Royal Signals/Twitter).

A British Army troop commander has been named in the top 100 of the WeAreTechWomen 2021 awards.

Lieutenant Abbygale Wiggins, 30th Signal Regiment, Royal Signals, won an individual prize in the awards which look to celebrate and showcase women in the technology sector.

While Lt Wiggins was nominated by her regiment, she says she initially had "no idea" they had put her forward for the award.

"To be shortlisted in the top 100 feels a bit surreal," she told Forces News.

"It's an honour. really, to be recognised for it and I think the biggest thing really is not necessarily getting in the top 100, but everyone's reaction to it."

The soldier said it is "hugely important to recognise women in technology and industries where women are the minority".

"For other people, particularly, I think, younger people, they’re starting off in their career," Lt Wiggins added.

"To see that there are plenty of women in technology thriving, I think having that representation is really important."

Watch: National Cyber Force - What is it and how does it work?

After being sponsored by the Royal Signals through university, Lt Wiggins got involved in a weekly meet of people looking to learn more about cyber security after joining the Army. 

This led to her and a team of enthusiastic amateurs to win the Army Cyber Spartan 4, the British Army's annual network defence competition, beating teams from across the service.

Lt Wiggins then led the joint UK and Denmark team in NATO’s Exercise Locked Shields 21 -  the largest cyber defence competition in Europe.

The NATO exercise was "100 times the level of competition" of Army Cyber Spartan 4, Lt Wiggins said.

"All of us, even the most experienced one of us, learnt something new from that competition and for myself, that was a huge challenge but it was phenomenal."

Watch: What is the 'Grey Zone'?

However, Lt Wiggins said her "main focus" within cyber is to "expand opportunities within grass roots cyber education".

She has been working to create a cyber and innovation hub within her regiment, as well as securing funds to build a training range for the hub.

"We need a dedicated space to do the training that people are now keen and interested to do," the soldier told us.

"If the military is going to be serious about having a cyber capability, it needs to start at the basic training level and have opportunities for people to skill up in that.

"The biggest barrier for people is not being facilitated to do that.

"At the moment, cyber has the risk of becoming a buzzword. 

"But realistically, cyber and the grey zone is where the future fight is going to be and there’s no escaping it."