In this week’s episode of things I wouldn’t care about if social media didn’t tell me to be outraged about … is the story of Fatima the Ballerina, who is being targeted by HM Government for a future role providing the last line of defence in the event of a cyber-attack.

This has met some controversy with many in the creative industries as they interpret the message to “Rethink. Reskill. Reboot”  to mean “get a proper job”.

I admit, the timing does seem quite inappropriate as the sector continues to bear the brunt of the Coronavirus measures as many in the arts are not able to put on events for the public.

Poor wording “(she doesn’t know it yet)”, does also make it sound a tad sinister.

However, on further research you can see this isn’t some grand conspiracy to steal the dreams of young dancer, unable to work because of lockdown, as the campaign came out in 2019, well before any restrictions were put in place.

It does seem an overreaction from a mob looking at what to get offended about this week and not a repeat of the learn to codeincident, when out of work coal miners were told to retrain as developers.

Quite simply, the purpose of the advert is that Cyber Security skills are in hot demand, and the public sector has the additional challenge of high turnover, as any talent they recruit gets snapped up by the private sector as soon as they get qualified, due to offering a more lucrative salary.

Central government therefore has to keep paying to find new blood to try and fill the skill shortage – hence you see adverts like this targeting people into the sector, who may not necessarily have an IT background, which doesn’t exclude people working in the arts.

Skills in “Cyber” are really sought after because of the massive perceived threat brought by malicious actors.

A fear the healthcare industry has had for years that an attack on computer systems could result in the deaths of patients was realised recently at a hospital in Dusseldorf, when a patient requiring emergency care was unable to get the treatment due to the hospital undergoing a Ransomware attack.

the guardian: open homicide case after cyber-attack on German hospital

People in the arts – they aren’t just targeting your industry, they want anyone suitable to build the skills to prevent this from happening!

Also of note, the outrage to the advertisement highlights the general publics ignorance how the public sector works – the civil service isn’t loyal to one political party, hence the term Civil Servant, it’s run by a group of dedicated people, who serve the government in power, to keep the country running.

For those placing blame on government ministers, this demonstrates the lack of understanding – they would not be overseeing and approve the design of a recruitment comms campaign!

Bottom line, it wasn’t an attack on your chosen profession, it wasn’t a challenge to “give up on your dreams” and go work at a desk, or a crass display to mop up out of work ballerinas to fill the nations cyber security gap, it was simply an advert trying to promote careers in an industry in desperate need of new talent.

May you have success – in whatever your chosen career maybe.


Additional references:

Comments from these articles helped inspire the response to this piece:

Dazed Digital – A Brief Explainer on the Government Dystopian Fatima Cyber Ad

The Independent – The government’s attitude to Fatima and the arts will put them on the wrong side of history – they just don’t know it yet

The Conversation – Ballet dancers should absolutely think about becoming computer programmers – here’s why

This is a digression from the usual content seen on Perfect Manifesto.

Tune in next time for more of the usual content on fatherhood, health and self-improvement.

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7 thoughts on “Fatima Gets a Job in Cyber Security: The Nation Loses its Mind!

  1. Interesting information and I recognise your argument, however we cannot underestimate how much the arts brings to society, in terms of entertainment, mental health and well…jobs. Personally I think any society would be lost without the arts…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, they are essential to our culture, I personally have got a lot of value from things created by others such music and comedy during these challenging times and can’t wait for some of my favourites to get back to what they do best.

      The post was never intended to belittle anyone in the arts profession, but intended to give a logical explanation for the advert, as in my opinion the response was an over reaction and I don’t think it was intended to be anything a lot of it’s critics claimed it to be (eg. give up on your dreams / get a proper job etc…).

      Thank you for commenting.
      All the best

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That was my initial thought, not like the ad is telling them to give up and do an unskilled entry level job. A point I was going to make was that because of the physical demands on ballerina they would have something else to look at when they retire.

      Liked by 1 person

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