The Cybersecurity Industry Needs to Address the Gender Gap

July 27, 2017

11:30 am

If you’re sick of hearing about it, don’t worry; so are we. But that doesn’t change the fact that the gender gap in the business world is as stupid as it is futile. Time and time again, research has shown that having women in your workforce, particularly in managerial positions, is good for your bottom line. Unfortunately, time and time again, that same research has shown that founders and entrepreneurs are having a hard time making diversity and inclusion a priority in a meaningful way. And unfortunately, the cybersecurity industry is no different.

According to a recent study from the Center for Cyber Safety and Education, women in the global information security industry make up only 11 percent of the entire workforce. To make matters worse, they are dramatically underpaid compared to their male counterparts, making between 3 percent and 6 percent less depending on the position.

This gender gap is silly at best and insulting at worst. Cybersecurity, as with any tech profession, is seeing a dearth of talent and an increase in demand. Writing off 50 percent of the population for some unconscious bias is not only wrong, it’s damning your company to mediocre talent that can’t tell their decoder ring from a line of code.

“The cybersecurity profession is one where demand is outstripping supply,” wrote the authors of the study. “Based on the technological advancements and the ever-increasing threat landscape, there will continue to be an increasing need for skilled professionals into the foreseeable future… Companies must take swift and considerable actions to engage, develop, and retain women in the field or the global workforce gap will continue to grow year over year.”

Tragically, this gender gap is undeniably par for the course in the tech world. In fact, according to other studies, the tech industry as a whole experiences almost the exact same gender gap, with 11 percent of executives positions being held by women. And while this gender gap might seem a bit insurmountable, it has to start somewhere. And where better to start than the ever-important cybersecurity industry.

Read more about diversity in tech on TechCo

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Conor is a writer, comedian and world-renowned sweetheart. As the Assistant Editor and Writer at Tech.Co, he’s written about everything from Kickstarter campaigns and budding startups to tech titans and innovative technologies. His background in stand-up comedy made him the perfect person to host Startup Night at SXSW and the Funding Q&A at Innovate! and Celebrate, posing questions to notable tech minds from around the world. In his spare time, he thinks about how to properly pronounce the word "colloquially." Conor is the Assistant Editor and Writer at Tech.Co. You can email him at conor@tech.co.

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