The Global Information Security Workforce Study arrives at a time when technology companies are touting initiatives, promoting and supporting women in the tech industry, and of course, on International Women’s Day which provides an opportunity to celebrate women around the world.
The social media poll, which received 14,706 responses, was conducted by Infosecurity Europe – Europe’s number one information security event - and was the latest in a series of surveys ahead of the conference. More than 60 percent of respondents acknowledged that women have less opportunity than men when vying for senior roles in cyber and information security, which is disappointing and shows the distinct lack of diversity that still exists in the industry.
The report shows Europe is one of the worst offending regions in the world when it comes to women in cybersecurity, with them making up just seven per cent of the industry workforce, and one of the most significant gender pay gaps in the world. During a period where cybercrime poses one of our biggest threats, it’s difficult to fathom why the industry continues to sell itself short by missing out on a huge proportion of prospective female talent.
Worse still, 63 percent of those polled by Infosecurity Europe thinks there's not enough guidance and support available for women wanting a career in cyber and information security. The future for women in security depends on the IT industry’s ability to inspire women and encourage careers in cybersecurity. The issue is further exasperated, with over half (56 percent) of those surveyed noting that there is a lack of female role models in the cyber and information security industry.
BCSWomen founder Dr Sue Black commented on the poll saying she was not surprised by the results.
“The majority believe the same as me: that we need to do something about the lack of guidance and support for women wanting a career in cyber and information security.”
She said that many awesome women are working in these areas, but we haven't heard about them enough.
“Stories about the trailblazing women that have done incredible things in technology like Dame Stephanie Shirley, UK technology pioneer, and the women recently portrayed in the film Hidden Figures Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, have not been heard until now. The history of computing is built on the work of women like them.”
Infosecurity Europe 2019 seeks to address these issues and will be hosting the third annual Women in Cybersecurity networking event on Wednesday 5 June.
The industry will meet to celebrate the achievements of females in cybersecurity, debate the challenges around diversity and discuss career opportunities for women in the industry. The event includes an inspirational keynote presentation by Dr Sue Black entitled ‘If I can do it, so can you’, a panel discussion, Q&A and networking.
Victoria Windsor, Group Content Manager at Infosecurity Group, said: “We are thrilled to have such an inspirational female speaker at the upcoming event. The cyber and information security sector must continue to encourage women to study and consider careers in the industry and, furthermore, it should be focused on retaining the female demographic and inspiring female influencers, motivating women to drive for senior roles in their field.”