In 2017, the Women in Cybersecurity Survey Report noted that only 11% of cybersecurity jobs are held by women. Of the women that were surveyed, 50% identified gender discrimination as a reason why there are so few women in cybersecurity, while 28% stated that they didn’t feel valued at work. The survey also revealed that the overall compensation for females is less than males and men are nine times more likely to be hired for management roles and four times more likely to hold executive level positions. Consequently, the lack of female role models for other aspiring female cybersecurity professionals is likely to further exacerbate the gender disparity in the field of cybersecurity.
To get more women to join the field of cybersecurity, companies need to shift how they market cybersecurity jobs and increase training within their organizations.
We foresee that increasing the number of female cybersecurity professionals will help the IT security Job shortage. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity positions by 2021, up from one million in 2016. Given that nearly half of the working age population is women, even a slight increase in training and hiring of female cybersecurity professionals will have a significant impact on narrowing the cybersecurity skills gap.
At the same time, the continued shift to cloud and mobile requires organizations to approach cybersecurity with more data science, machine learning, identity and data centric security, and risk-based security controls. Below are amazing women who have pushed through the challenges while leading the way for cybersecurity professionals of tomorrow. Hear what they have to say from the “Women in Cloud Strategy” event that was held in Chicago.