- Marketing and perception in the cybersecurity industry are the main problems preventing more women from entering the field, according to a new study from CREST.
- The not-for-profit accreditation and certification body recently conducted a workshop exploring the reasons behind the lack of gender diversity in cybersecurity and ways to drive change.
- Only about 10% of the global information security workforce are women, according to (ISC)2’s recent Global Information Security Workforce Study.
Professionals from industry, government and academia attending CREST’s workshop suggested education, raising awareness, changing industry perceptions, offering support and removing barriers for entry as ways to improve gender diversity in cybersecurity. Marketing and perception were viewed as especially important.
"Although most of our workshop attendees agreed that cybersecurity is welcoming to women, the perception from outside the industry is much the opposite," said Ian Glover, president of CREST. "It is clear that this is one of the major challenges we face."
Given a workforce shortage in cybersecurity, as well as a need for a variety of skills that a diverse workforce can provide, a number of companies and organizations are looking for ways to change the current diversity numbers.
"Increasing the number of women in cybersecurity is not simply for diversity’s sake, but for the sake of the industry," said Glover. "By consistently taking people from the same backgrounds, we’ll keep coming up with the same approaches and solutions. The first step is to work out why women are not entering the industry."