Cybersecurity is booming, but women (still) make up just 10% of the cybersecurity workforce.
Indeed, despite the industry facing a massive skills shortage, depressingly little is changing. That 1 in 10 figure is unchanged over the past three years, new figures from the Global Information Security Workforce Study by (ISC)² show.
With less than one in four roles filled by women, the tech industry as a whole remains male-dominated – but this report shows certain sectors are falling even further behind.
The CREST report “Closing the Gender Gap in Cybersecurity” explores barriers to a more diverse workforce, and suggests that women are currently shying away from the cyber industry:
There are very few female applicants to the industry, thus leading workshop attendees to conclude that the marketing and perception of the industry is the main problem.
The cybersecurity industry is growing explosively, as hacking becomes a bigger topic, both in newspaper headlines, company budgets and government initiatives.
Recruiters are clamouring for new people, but according to the CREST report, the number of female applicants in the field is “incredibly” low.
The main reasons for this dearth? Cybersecurity professionals themselves suggest misperceptions of the industry and what skills are required are a big barrier.
“The marketing of the cybersecurity industry needs a lot of further consideration, particularly relating to ensuring its messaging is gender-neutral and thus attracting both sexes,” states the CREST report.
The report also emphasizes the importance of earlier initiatives to encourage girls to take STEM subjects:
Influencing children early in their education is a key to encouraging more girls into STEM.