Younger women are going into cybersecurity but more needs to be done

New research from ISC2 shows improved representation of women under 30 in cybersecurity roles but concludes that more need to be done to improve diversity.

The study gathered responses from 14,865 people who participated in the latest ISC2 Workforce Study finds 36 percent of those under 30 were women compared to only 13 percent of those 65 or over and 17 percent overall.

The average representation of women on cybersecurity teams stands at 23 percent. Attracting and retaining more diverse individuals is essential to address the cyber workforce gap of four million individuals globally.

The research reveals that a higher proportion of women acknowledge the importance of diversity on their security team than men (76 percent to 63 percent), and 78 percent of women feel that an inclusive environment is essential for their team’s success. Yet, 11 percent of the workforce study participants say they had no women on their security teams and 21 percent of men did not know the proportion of women on their security team compared to 13 percent of women.

"It's great to see incremental progress of younger women entering cybersecurity, however, it's not enough and more needs to be done. We must continue to build a culture for all women that creates a sense of belonging that results in the retention of women in cybersecurity careers," says ISC2 CEO Clar Rosso. "Research reveals that the most engaged women in cybersecurity work at organizations that invest time and resources into diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives such as offering competitive pay, hosting mentorship programs and establishing an inclusive culture that fosters professional development opportunities."

Cloud services, automotive, and construction are the industries with the highest percentage (28 percent) of women on security teams, while military and utilities have the lowest (20 percent). There’s a pay gap too, women have an average salary of $109,609 compared to $115,003 for men. – a difference of $5,400.

Among the positives are that women report higher rates of pursuing cybersecurity in school (14 percent), compared with men (10 percent). Women say they want to work in a constantly evolving field (21 percent) and one where they can help people and society (16 percent) at higher rates than men (18 percent and 14 percent, respectively).

You can get the full report from the ISC2 site.

Photo Credit: Syda Productions /Shutterstock

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