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Cyber Security Jobs: Why are there such few women in the field?

The fact that there are so few women in the cybersecurity
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There is a massive labour shortage i.e over 1 million unfilled cyber security jobs. So how do we solve the labour shortage in the cyber security industry? Think women. According to ISC² Right now, Women working in cybersecurity make up only 24% of the workforce. While that number is growing, it’s still not enough. With the low percentage of women cybersecurity professionals, there are even fewer of them in leadership roles. Only 7% of women are reaching positions such as chief technology officer, 18% are in IT director roles and 19% reach the vice president of IT positions, the (ISC)² report shows.

The fact that there are so few women in the cybersecurity industry isn’t news to anyone. This has been an issue for years and years but has become more of a popular topic in parallel with the rise in popularity of the profession. One would think that as cybersecurity becomes a more well-known profession, the gender gap that has existed would start to even itself out, but that hasn’t been the case at all.

Why are women not choosing a career in cybersecurity?

  • Unaware of the opportunities – It could be because not many people know what opportunities as this industry is new and emerging, which means there are many roles that people will simply not know about.
  • Too competitive – Cybersecurity is often viewed by young women as a career requiring them to be more accomplished and also seen as a high-stress, competitive industry, which may put some women off.
  • Media representation – For years cybersecurity has had an image problem in the media that cybersecurity occupations are performed by ‘nerdy white males’ or intense businessmen.
  • Dangerous to combat – Some of the industry’s own terminology, like cyberattacks, for instance, give off an impression that cybersecurity work takes place in military war rooms. 
  • Perception: Women are not much associated with Coding, math and engineering, or STEM degrees. Why does this matter? Females are less likely to pursue STEM degrees. And while some women may have an interest in cybersecurity, but may not be interested in the technical aspects. This, in addition to the other tech and cybersecurity depictions in the media work against our efforts to close the gender gap in the industry.
  • Gender pay gap – Like any other industry, women are paid less and promoted more slowly than their male counterparts. Gender Bias Resulting in Lack of Awareness & Encouragement, this is an issue that exists not only in the cyber industry but for careers in STEM as a whole.
  • Too technical – Often, it’s a perceived lack of technical experience or formal qualifications – these are the typical barriers that can hold people back from landing their dream cyber security role.

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6 Reasons Why Women Should Consider a Career in Cyber Security

  1. Job Security
  2. High Pay
  3. Scholarships and Incentives for Women
  4. Companies are Eagerly Seeking Women  to Diversify Their Workforce
  5. Break Down Stereotypes and Advance Equality for Women
  6. Make a Real Impact on Corporate and National Security

Women as role models in cybersecurity

Today, there are plenty of successful women in cybersecurity that can be viewed as mentors to break into and succeed in the field. Some of them are:

  • Wendy Thomas. Company: Secureworks. Title: President.
  • Summer Craze Fowler. Company: Argo AI.
  • Jordan Rae Kelly. Company: FTI Consulting.
  • Jadee Hanson. Company: Code42.
  • Marnie Wilking. Company: Wayfair.
  • Laurell Aiton. Company: Smartronix.

Offering Better Options for Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is everyone’s problem and companies need to offer better pathways into cybersecurity positions. This includes being more honest and realistic with the educational and skill-level qualifications required for certain roles. 

Many tend to pass by employment opportunities because they feel they don’t have ‘enough’ experience to be able to prove themselves.

All in all, women have a lot to bring to the table, and while women could be doing more to enter the cybersecurity sector, they also need support from the industry and companies to succeed. While problems can be solved without diversity.

Cyber Security Jobs in High Demand

For women who want to pursue a career in cyber security, there are several well-paying and rewarding positions to consider.

Information Security Analyst

Information security analysts is a job to conduct tests to identify system vulnerabilities, stay aware of software advancements, and develop security standards. 

Source: Payscale

Computer Network Architect

Computer Network Architects develop and build data communication networks to improve networks to manage and research the latest technologies to implement. Computer and Information Research Scientist

IRS profession assists scientists and engineers in solving complex computing problems, improving person-to-computer interaction, designing and testing ideas for software systems.

Source: Payscale

Computer and Information Systems Manager

Professionals in this role oversee the work of IT teams, estimate the costs and benefits of IT-related projects.

Source: Payscale

Conclusion

Cyber security may be a challenging field for women to pursue, but the shortage of qualified professionals in the field is a great opportunity for women to get ahead.

0 Source: GreatLearning Blog

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