AUTHOR: Kiri Nowak

Cybersecurity. Arguably one of the most important roles in the digital age. Because, well, you wouldn't leave your house unlocked and your windows open for people to find their way in, so why would you leave other aspects of your life and business exposed?

We are in need of cyber security experts; but it turns out, there's a HUGE difference in the amount of men versus women who work in cybersecurity. Which is a massive shame.

 

'Globally, men are four times more likely to hold cybersecurity C-suite and executive level positions, and 9 times more likely to hold managerial positions than women.' PWC.com

But on the flip side, it also means there's a big opportunity for more women to consider it as a career option. Currently the industry is comprised of only 11% women - lets boost that number shall we? And just because the stats say there are more male managers, this isn't to say that women aren't making it to the top in this arena...

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Current female cybersecurity superheroes

There are LOADS of examples of incredible women making waves in the world of cybersecurity. Take Jane Frankland for example, who is a massive role model for women in the industry, she's even written a book about it. She created and sold a penetration company, and now owns KnewStart and Cyber Security Capital.

Elizabeth Denham, the UK information commissioner, is passionate about ensuring companies are clear about the personal information they share. And she issued the ICO's biggest fine of £400,000 to Talk Talk.

Check out this list of some of the most influential women in the game, and take inspiration from their impressive stories.

 

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 Why are there less women?

A CREST cross-industry workshop concluded that there is no lack of opportunity for women in this field. So that's not the problem. It's probably how the job role is presented and the way it's often described in the media. It's reasonable to suggest that it occasionally gets wrongly presented as a male domain.

Women may be put off by this and not even consider it as an option. When was the last Blockbuster movie where the techie character who saves the day is female? Think Q in James Bond for example. What we need is more female icons in the media, and to shout about the industry's female heroes much more, so that other women open their minds to the idea.

Research has shown that many women currently in the field didn't initially intend to get into it, they just realised they like practical problem solving and the day to day tasks of the job. Fewer than 50% of respondents entered the field via IT or Computer Science. So perhaps there's needs to be more education and encouragement within schools and careers sites.

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Why the industry needs more women - a bright future

It's not surprising that the demand for cybersecurity experts is going to skyrocket in the next few year. In fact folks, 'demand for cybersecurity talent is expected to rise to 6 million globally by 2019.' But the industry needs more women, and there's a lot of proof that diversity helps create more innovation.

 'A team that integrates diversity of all kinds – disciplines, genders, backgrounds, ethnicities, etc. – ensures fresh perspectives, prompting innovation and creativity.' Andrea Little Limbago, Principal Social Scientist at Endgame

It seems that women who are in this field tend to stay in it for a long time, and they really thrive and enjoy their jobs. Wondering what sort of satisfaction this career offers for women in tech? The women in this survey were asked to describe what they love most about their role. The results we as follows...

  • Helping people 65%
  • Solving complex problems 64%
  • Creating a better future and world 62%
  • Securing organizations 56%
  • Seeing things before anyone else does 38%
  • Applying my skills 24%
  • Other 7%

If you the above things appeal to you, then perhaps it might be time to properly look into starting a career in cyber security. Don't rule it out because you don't have the qualifications, because there are avenues to gain everything you need. Like our Cyber Security courses for example.

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