- Women represent just 11% of the global information security workforce, and more than half of women working in cybersecurity have reported some kind of workplace discrimination, according to the Women in Cybersecurity workforce study from the Center for Cyber Safety and Education, (ISC)2 and the Executive Women's Forum on information security, risk management and privacy. The study had responses from 19,000 information security professionals from 170 nations.
- Women in cybersecurity also earn less money than men at every level and hold fewer senior-level positions, despite having higher levels of education than men. Half of women surveyed held a master’s degree or higher, compared to 45% of men.
- "While there is significant demand for high-skilled workers, there is also a critical pipeline issue of women joining our cybersecurity workforce," said Sloane Menkes, PwC principal and global crisis center coordinator, in a statement. "Cybersecurity leaders need to commit to reversing this trend — from our universities to our board rooms — before the issue is irreversible.”
The talent shortage in cyber is far worse than in other areas of tech, but unlike other areas, it’s not getting any better. In 2015, (ISC)2 reported that for two years, the number of women globally in the cybersecurity profession remained unchanged at 10% of the workforce. Another study from Women's Society of Cyberjutsu estimates that 11% of the cybersecurity workforce are women.
Despite a growing number of companies with initiatives designed to boost the number of women in cyber and tech overall, the number of women in the field has stagnated.
Companies need to help women get ahead in cyber if there is any hope of having enough cybersecurity experts to fill coming needs, but a solid strategy remains elusive.
The need for more mentors and role models continually emerges in tech gender gap surveys, while schools are experimenting with programs that can interest more young girls in cybersecurity careers.
Beyond that, many companies and career experts are still searching for strategies that can help boost the number of women pursuing cybersecurity careers and support gender diversity in the field.