Women in Cybersecurity: More Credentials, Less Pay & Even Fewer Opportunities

It’s Time for Change

Roughly 70 years ago, the U.S. labor force was just 29% female. Huge strides have been made in education and workforce participation since, driving the share of employed women to nearly 47% of the workforce. They also now hold more than half of bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees and doctorate degrees. Yet, still, women bring home 20% less than their male counterparts and fill just 21% of board seats at S&P 500 companies. While significant progress has been made in the past century, it’s obvious we still have some work to do to eradicate gender bias in the workforce.

Some industries, cybersecurity in particular, are especially plagued by this issue. Similar to national-level workforce statistics, women in security also make less than their male counterparts and hold fewer senior positions, despite their higher levels of education. Data from the 2017 Global Information Security Workforce Study reports women make up just 11% of the cybersecurity workforce. This statistic has not changed since 2013, suggesting the industry needs to take a new approach to recruiting female cybersecurity practitioners if it intends to fill today’s 300,000+ vacant cybersecurity positions.

Are Women Cybersecurity Professionals Less Capable Than Their Male Counterparts?

No academic research supports the claim women are less likely to succeed in cybersecurity roles than their male peers. Writers at Recode have studied gender bias in STEM fields for over 25 years and have found no evidence “women’s biology makes them incapable of performing at the highest levels in any STEM fields.” They cite several interesting studies to support their claim, including:  

  • A team of eight neuroscientists, headed by Professor Diane Halpern of Claremont McKenna College, found “few sex differences in children’s brains beyond the larger volume of boys’ brains and the earlier completion of girls’ (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from InfoSec Resources authored by Megan Sawle. Read the original post at: