Author Bio ▼

IFSEC Global is the online community for the Security and Fire industry. Our market-leading live events span the globe, connecting buyers and sellers.
March 16, 2021

Sign up to free email newsletters

Download

Contact tracing and COVID-19 director’s briefing

Diversity

Pandemic has “positively impacted careers of women in cyber security”

A new report from Tessian has revealed that cyber security jobs “weathered the storm” of COVID-19, and indicates that the pandemic has generally had a positive impact on the careers of female cyber security professionals. More work needs to be done, however, to encourage greater representation of women in the field – particularly in the top management roles.

Nearly half of women working in cybersecurity (49%) say that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their career in a positive way, with just 9% of female cyber security professionals saying that the pandemic negatively impacted their career. This is according to a new global report from human layer security company Tessian, published on International Women’s Day.

In fact, cyber security jobs appear to have weathered the storm as 94% of women in cyber security said they recruited new staff members to help support their team in 2020. In addition, 89% of women working in the industry reported feeling secure in their jobs.

Despite the industry offering promising opportunities, there is still plenty of work to be done to encourage younger women to consider a career in cyber security. As part of the report, Tessian surveyed university graduates aged 18-25 years old and found that men in this age group were more likely to consider a job in cyber security – 42% versus 26% of women. Interestingly, though, 87% of younger women said that they found the industry “important” and 73% said it was “interesting”.

When female cyber security professionals were asked what would encourage more women into cyber security roles, equal pay topped the list with 47% of respondents saying this would help bridge the gender gap. This was closely followed by “more female diverse models” (44%), “a gender-balanced workforce” (43%) and “a greater emphasis on STEM subjects in schools” (41%).

A significant percentage of Generation Z respondents were, however, on the fence when it came to considering a career in cyber security. Nearly half (45%) are not sure whether cybersecurity is the career for them and when asked why, many are worried that they don’t have the skills needed to thrive, while others are not sure how to navigate a career change.

Encouraging greater gender diversity in cyber security would have huge benefits, believes Tessia. A previous report revealed that an additional £4.4 billion would be added to the UK economy if the number of women working in cyber security rose to equal that of men.

In IFSEC Global’s Top Influencers in the Cyber Security category for 2020, 11 out of the 20 individuals who made the list were women, highlighting the talent currently in the industry.

Despite all this, reports suggest that some of the leading cyber security firms are “consistently failing to appoint women to top managerial positions” with Eskenzi PR finding that women held just 10% of board positions and 16% of management roles. Commenting on the report, Vanessa Pegueros, Chief Trust and Security Officer at OneLogin, said: “We need women at the board level and at the leadership/management level because we experience the world differently than men, and that experience is valuable in problem-solving. We need a broader lens on these problems and that can only happen when women are at these elevated positions.”

Sabrina Castiglione, Tessian’s Chief Financial Officer and Acting Head of Talent commented: “The women in our report have spoken; cyber security is an industry to build a thriving career, even in a global pandemic, and the younger generation recognises that it’s important. So now, we need to show more women and girls how they can explore the opportunities available to them.

“Greater awareness in schools is critical but businesses, too, can help build a more diverse talent pool for the future through initiatives like hiring more diverse candidates at junior levels and developing them into senior roles, and creating platforms for role models to share their stories. We won’t solve the gender gap overnight. But acting now and playing the long game will have enormous benefits – both for businesses and society.”

Read Tessian’s full report, here.

 

Subscribe to the IFSEC Global weekly newsletter

Enjoy the latest fire and security news, updates and expert opinions sent straight to your inbox with IFSEC Global's essential weekly newsletter. Subscribe today to make sure you're never left behind by the fast-evolving industry landscape.

Sign up now!

man reading a tablet, probably the IFSEC Global newsletter

Related Topics

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments